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Kutani [?] Bowl with Western Figures and a Galleon

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Asian Bowls188 of 434Grandparents brought back from Japan before ww2 Beautiful Japanese Cup
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (4012 items)

    I picked this little bowl up today at Omega Salvage in Berkeley. There is a repair on it, but i thought the design was so interesting! i don't even know for sure that it's Kutani, but the colors remind me of it. Maybe it's Chinese?

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    1. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
      If we could see the bottom mark straight on, it might help us better in trying to ID this piece. Lovely bowl, though. [;>)
    2. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      thanks Nevada. done!
    3. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      thank you rucklczglass! apparently, my timing was good as the celebrations which are held commemorating the black ship are this weekend. that's what the firecracker on the base is all about. there is a lot of speculation and mystery surrounding the production of these 'black ship' pieces. this one is special because it has seven figures in the group. all the others i could find only had between 4 and 6. i think it's a very early one.
    4. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
      Just a note about the "attack on the Japanese Capital (Capitol) with their cannons by this American vessel":

      Just for the record, Perry's "Black Ships" were anchored off Uraga Harbor, part of present-day Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, where today's U.S. Naval Base is located. The capitol, then called Edo ~ present-day Tokyo ~ is located 45 miles to the north of Uraga Bay. Perry's "attack" consisted of blank cannon rounds fired off for show of power, which frightened the populace and the Japanese government so much that they relented their previous rejection to open trade between America and Japan. There was no battle nor fighting or anyone killed, on either side.

      Just for the record. [;>)
    5. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Are you sure it's not Marco Polo? Those arn't American flag on that ship. The clothes they are wearing are older than America, aren't they?
    6. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
      Celiene makes a good and compelling point ~ not one American flag on the ship. Come to think of it now, Perry's Black Ships were steam-powered, not sail-powered ~ that's why they were called "black" ships. Good eye for detail, Celiene! Puts a whole different light on this bowl, doesn't it? [;>)
    7. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      I think it's something Dutch maybe. Those pantaloons are WAY before 1853 style.
    8. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      The USS Mississippi was a much more modern ship, too!
    9. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      That ship looks more like The Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria era!
    10. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Yeah - it's more likely they are Portuguese or Dutch:

      The Portuguese were by far the first europeans to reach Japan, in 1543. By 1571 the until then little town of Nagasaki, where the portuguese settled a trade post, was transformed into a major global outpost of the Portuguese Empire.

      The portuguese had a great impact, both cultural and economical and opened up the until then almost unknown Japan to Europe. There is a type of specific japanese art, the Nanban paintings depicting the arrival of the portuguese ships and the "strange bearded white people", the portuguese.

      Today the portuguese influence is still visible, there are aprox, 250 japanese words (tempura-tempero-seasonings, pan-pão-bread, korusu-cruz-cross, etc) that derive from the portuguese language, several japanese dishes like Tempura, several sweets who are adaptations of portuguese monastery deserts and especially the bread, introduced by the portuguese.

      Also the first dictionary combining japanese and a european language was a japanese-portuguese-japanese created by a portuguese jesuit missionary).

      The portuguese controlled the trade between Japan and Europe, creating the first sea route between them, for almost 100 years, from 1543 to 1639 when they were expelled from Japan, being replaced by the dutch who then took over many of portuguese possessions and trade posts in Asia.
    11. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Yeah - here's a Portuguese Trade ship circa 1589:

      ALL trade ships were called Black Ships from the very first trade with Europeans. NOT just pERRY'S SHIPS.
    12. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      The Black Ships (in Japanese, ??, kurofune, Edo Period term) was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries.

      In 1543 Portuguese initiated the first contacts, establishing a trade route linking Goa to Nagasaki. The large carracks engaged in this trade had the hull painted black with pitch, and the term came to represent all western vessels. In 1639, after suppressing a rebellion blamed on the Christian influence, the ruling Tokugawa shogunate retreated into an isolationist policy, the Sakoku. During this “locked state,” contact with Japan by Westerners was restricted to Dejima island at Nagasaki.
    13. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      The USS Mississippi had a paddlewheel.
    14. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      I'm not saying the bowl goes back to the 1500's, just what it is depicting is in the 1500's.
    15. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      i believe the flag and the men on the rice bowl are dutch, but i'm not sure how this relates to the black ship celebrations... it's all very confusing, as were the incredibly fantastic views held by the Japanese of westerners and vice versa - for hundreds of years. that's what makes this rice bowl so interesting!

      the dutch were the only nation allowed to regularly have commerce in Japan, and it was strictly regulated - from when the Portuguese left till Admiral Perry arrived.
    16. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      The Japanese called ALL western trading ships 'black ships' because they were covered in pitch.

      And yes - they must be Dutch because they are not bearded. And notice all the men in the background are wearing flowered gold jackets?
    17. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      It is the FIRST Dutch ship to reach Japan De Liefde! So itis depicting the 1600 arrival of the first Dutch ship!
    18. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      for some reason, i cannot get your link to work Celiene.
    19. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Here's another picture with the flags etc.
    20. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Although Captain WIlliam Adams was bearded!
    21. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      They are Shogun in the background...
    22. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      I saw this bowl yesterday on the Japanese Collecting page on FB. Was it you that posted it there, ho2cultcha?
    23. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Here is the Tokugawa of 1600
    24. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
      I tend to take articles or manuscripts of Japanese history written by Western "experts" with a grain of salt, ~ more often than not they are riddled with inaccuracies ~ preferring instead to use Japanese-written texts and having my Japanese wife translate the Japanese into English for me.

      I think I have to agree with Celiene and go with her Portuguese and Dutch theory. The ship and costumes depicted on the bowl just do not correlate with Matthew Perry and his steam-powered Black Ships of 1853.

      It's unfortunate that are no "written" marks on the piece to help us to ID the bowl. The scroll on the bottom of the bowl could be either Chinese or Japanese, as both cultures used the same type, the Japanese borrowing from the Chinese as early as the Tang Dynasty ( 618 ~ 907). Without an identifying mark, I can't even venture to speculate whether this piece is Chinese or Japanese (or Korean, for that matter), nor even make a guess as to its age. I'll leave that to the ceramics experts here on CW. [;>)
    25. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Here are 1600 men's hat & hairstyles. Funny, they did not paint the men with facial hair on the bowl.
    26. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      The reason I mentioned this bowl being on the FB page is a lot of information was given there so most of you are going over the same ground. The bowl is Imari, Nanbanjin (Southern Barbarians), and the ship known as a carrack is flying a Belgium flag, possibly 1600s. What the experts didn't say there was era of production, if anyone cares to take a crack at that. :)
    27. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
      Even though the information may already be known to most, if not everyone, I would still like to share this so that there is no misunderstanding or misuse of the term: NANBANJIN was originally used to refer to non-Japanese ethnic groups living on the southern islands of the Japanese archipelago (primarily Shikoku and Kyushu). It was later used to refer to Westerners arriving in Japan from the south, first the Portuguese and Spanish, then later including the Dutch. The term NANBANJIN is no longer used in Japan in everyday speech to refer to foreigners, be they from the south, or wherever. The term GAIKOKUJIN (gaikoku = foreign country + jin = person) has been used since after the Second World War to refer to foreigners and non-Japanese. The condensed and informal term, GAIJIN, once more prevalently used, has now become more or less politically incorrect, having acquired derogatory meaning and bias, and is therefore rarely used today. [;>)
    28. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Not Belgium, Dutch. Different countries.
    29. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Ho2cultcha - which Link? You can just google the ship's name and see pics of it.

      Not Belgium, Holland - the beginnings of the East India Trading Company.
    30. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      NevasdaBlades - there was a piece on Japantown San Jose on the news yesterday. They are restoring the area! They just opened a new Senior Housing building.
    31. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      katherinescollections - which FB page? THere are several.
    32. NevadaBlades, 5 years ago
      Celiene >>> Thanks for sharing the link re my hometown! San Jose's Nihon Machi (Japan Town) has undergone so little change or development in the last 50 years or so, it's good to see a new building go up, particularly for senior citizens. [;>)
    33. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      what i got off the japanese pottery collector's fb page is that this is a 19th century Imari rice bowl with a decoration known as Nam'ban [an old word for foreigners].
    34. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Ho2 - cool!
    35. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Nevada - you are welcome!
    36. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      thanks Celiene!!
    37. Jean123, 5 years ago
      Boy do I love the crowd at CW! Reading this exchange is like being a fly on the wall at a high-level university. And to think, I tumbled onto all this history because I thought the bowl looked cool. Thanks.
    38. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      very cool comment Jean123! thank you!
    39. apostata apostata, 2 months ago
      nice piece and a strange discourse of the discussion

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