Title: Satsuma Ware, Samurais and civil service employees
White color base Satsuma ware. Its pale cream-colored dish is brightly decorated with red, blue, green, and white. In addition, the gold coloring gives it a gorgeous look for this work. This type of Satsuma ware is made from white soil. And this raw material was extracted only in a minimal area in the territory of the Satsuma. Therefore, it was treated as a valuable item. If you look at the surface of this vase, you will find there are delicate cracks. It is called the Kan-Nyu (嵌入), and it was made because the contraction percentage is different between the soil and glaze. So, these minute cracks are not considered damage when we enjoy the Satsuma ware. People think of it as a characteristic flavor.
A small bird is flying around chrysanthemums. This bird might be the Suzume (雀, sparrow). As sparrows form a flock and act among birds, the sparrow pattern represents abundant crops and prosperity. It is said this bird has been used as a motif since the late Heian period (1094-1184). Their tiny and adorable figures have attracted people for a long time.
Chrysanthemums are beautifully blooming and are colored red, pink, and white. A long time ago, this flower was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life, and it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum symbolizes fall, and people have appreciated it very much since ancient times. As its petals form radially, the chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health. The chrysanthemum is one of the popular classical motifs for Japanese people.
There are butterflies on the back of this plate. Each of them has a different color and decorates this work. A larva becomes a chrysalis, and it grows up to a butterfly. As this insect changes its looks, it symbolizes reborn. It is said that is why Samurais loved the butterfly pattern. Also, as butterflies make a couple on good terms, this motif represents happy marriage.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
What is Satsuma Yaki?
Satsuma Yaki (薩摩焼, Satsuma ware) is Japanese pottery made in Satsuma Province (Kagoshima Pref. today). From 1529 to 1598, the battle of Bunroku, Keichou (文禄・慶長の役) happened. It was the conflict between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. After this troop dispatch to the Korean Peninsula, Yoshihiro Shimazu, the 17th feudal lord of the Satsuma domain, brought back more than 80 Korean potters to Japan. They opened kilns in various parts into the Satsuma domain and made different pottery types depending on their locations or style of a potter. They were categorized into five styles: Naeshirogawa-Kei (苗代川系), Tateno-Kei (竪野系), Ryumonji-Kei (龍門司系), Nishimochida-Kei (西餅田系), Hirasa-Kei (平佐系). And all of them are called Satsuma Yaki.
Satsuma ware is classified as two groups based on the differences of each characteristic. There are Shiro-Satsuma (白薩摩) and Kuro-Satsuma (黒薩摩). Shiro-Satsuma is also called Shiromon (白もん). It is made of white clay and is carefully molded. And then, it is covered with a transparent glaze. Fine cracks are seen on the surface of the pottery. Usually, it is decorated with gorgeous designs with gold, red, green, purple, and yellow. Shiro-Satsuma was made for the domain so that the domain and the Shimazu family had it. Kuro-Satsuma is also known as Kuromon (黒もん). It has been appreciated as a daily household appliance for ordinary people in contrast to Shiromon. As it uses ferrous soil, Kuro-Satsuma has black color and has a simple and sturdy body.
Satsuma ware was exhibited in the 1867 Paris World Expo and regarded highly in Europe. Since then, Satsuma ware has been called “SATSUMA” and is loved in Japan and overseas.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
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【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Satsuma ware and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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