Sasada Yuzan, a set of three gold and colored bowls with sho-chiku-bai

Sasada Yuzan

gold and colors, a set of three bowls with shochikubai

diameter height
small bowl about 17.8cm about 6.4cm
middle bowl about 20.8cm about 7.2cm
large bowl about 23.8cm about 8.4cm

condition : excellent

In Meiji Kutani, a set of three bowls are often seen, as are 19 sets in the pictorial records “Keisei Collection”, published by the Kesei Museum of Art. At the banquet and the like, three different kinds of foods were served in three bowls, and each bowl was turned in turn, and people on the spot ate three kinds of foods on the small dishes. Particularly this custom was created and a set of three bowls were gifted for celebration and commemoration. according to these bowls, they were decorated with prominent paintings or patterns in gold and various colors.

In the inside of each bowl, the combination painting of shochikubai (松竹梅 sho (pine) -chiku (bamboo)-bai (plum) is drawn with the size changed little by little. It is painted with delicate brushes and various colors, and many parts are decorated by the technique of mori-kin (盛金gold painted over other paints, see below table). Originally, in China, shochikubai were favored by intellectuals because pine and bamboo do not fade in the cold, and plums blossom in the cold. It was considered in Japan that after the Edo period, shochikubai showed “prominence” and became popular in the rich people. So, the combination painting was often painted on ceramics, lacquerware, and dyeing and weaving for elebration.

In addition, the combination painting of shochikubai was converted into a combination pattern of shochikubai. In the Edo period, shochikubai became widely used for not only costumes but also festive furoshiki (wrapping cloth), wedding futons (beddings), furniture a representative of the auspicious patterns.

In these bowls, too, as a celebration pattern, the combination pattern is used for a decoration unique to Yuzan because of mori-kin (see below table), beautiful coloring and fine drawing.

In the Meiji period, various techniques were born. Yuzan incorporated them into his work. Since he had technique of ishime-uchi (石目打ち see below table), he was easy to apply the technique of oa-chibu (青粒small dots of blue paint, see below table) and shiro-chibu (白粒small dots of white paint) under development for expressing pine leaves and plum blossoms, and adopted the technique of mori-kin for the decoration of patterns, and the technique of kin-bokashi (金ぼかしgold blurring, see below table) was used in the background of paintings.

* techniques used for these bowls

ishime-uchi At the beginning of the Meiji period, the style of filling the background of flowers and birds, and landscapes with fine dots became popular, and lasted for 5 or 6 years.
mori-kin This technique was started by Shimizu Bizan in 1882. This is a technique in which color paint is painted on the parts of painting or pattern, baked, and then each part is modeled, and gold is painted on it. This required high skill, time and effort.
gold blurring In 1897, when the technique of shading by telemen oil began, shading of vivid “blur” by using mizu-kin (paint used for gold color) became be well used for a decoration.
oa-chibu/shiro-chibu In 1912, it is said that this technique of densely painting the fine dots of blue, white, and gold to the body was established. Because Fujioka Iwaka-do, which operated until 1877, already used this technique in their works, it is guessed that this technique was already partially used before in 1912.


It is written simply as “kutani / made by Yuzan” on the back. Although his other work has also the back name “Yuzan-do (友山堂)”. After studying at the painting factory “Ijun-sha” in Kanazawa, he begun independent production. It seems that he started using “made by Yuzan” and “Yuzan-do”.

about creator  Sasada Yuzan  笹田友山

About the creator of this work, search for “Sasada Yuzan’s works on this web-site and his pottery history“.

reference № 19081613
date of exhibition March 3, 2020
selling & buying under cosideration