Posted 10 months ago
This cast iron nabeshiki is about 5.5" in diameter, about 1" high and weighs in at about 9.5 ounces. The string for hanging it is original to the piece. The text on the bottom of the front reads roughly "Lakeside Maidens". I have not been able to decipher the maker's mark on the back. This is a commemorative or souvenir trivet of a statue by Kotaro Takamura at Lake Towada in Japan. See links below!
I bought this one directly from Japan and it was on an auction site for several weeks, at an ever decreasing asking price. I finally gave in when it was offered for $6. With shipping, however, its was $20.66 via Japan Post. I think that the initial asking price was around $40...
"Lake Towada (????, Towada-ko) is the largest crater lake in Honsh? island, Japan. Located on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures, it lies 400 meters (1,800 ft) above sea level and is 327 m (1,073 ft) deep, drained by the Oirase river. With a surface area of 61.1 km², Towada is Japan's 12th largest lake, its bright blue color is due to its great depth. The lake is roughly circular, with two peninsulas extending from its southern shore approximately one-third into the center of the lake. The lake is a popular tourist destination."
From http://www.soulportals.com/kokeshi/Kokeshi%20Village/Folklore%20N'%20More/The%20Maidens/The%20Maidens.html# which is a very interesting presentation:
OTOME NO ZOU, THE MAIDENS, STATUE BY KOTARO TAKAMURA
Kotaro Takamura was a well known sculptor and poet born in 1883. Kotaro's poetry expressed his feelings towards westernization which often put him at odds with, the majority, public opinion.
Kotaro met Chieko a talented, rebellious, feminist, artist and writer a perfect match that lead to an unconventional marriage. Which would subject Chieko to a life of opposition from those who thought she was not behaving as a conventional Japanese wife should.
Chieko had other worries, she was a schizophrenic, and struggled with this mental illness until her early death at the young age of 52. Kotaro's poem's share and breath life into what was the mind of Chieko but most undoubtedly Takamura-san is best known for his poetic anthology "Chieko's Sky" which still enchants readers today.
Kotaro's last commissioned sculpture is still found in Towada Lake, called Otome No Zou, The maidens. It is believed they were fashioned after his very own Chieko ... the woman he knew, loved and adored and the schizophrenic version of her. The two in a stand offish position."
This would be good subject for modifying apostata's recent question for me t0 "are iron bipedals Shizen or is this an teleological sophism". I think this link answers the question, but your interpretation may differ from mine.