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8" ARITA, Sho Chiku Bai platter Hizen kilns Tetsusaburo

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Posted 4 years ago


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81/2" ARITA Sho Chiku Bai platter Hizen kilns Tetsusaburo.
This is a piece of porcelain that tells a story.
Sho Chiku Bai: The Three Friends of Winter. Hizen kilns: The Province where its made and Tetsusaburo: The makers first name.

There are several forms of pottery that fall under the Arita umbrella including: Arita, Imari, Hasami, Hizen


The Three Friends of Winter are common in works of Chinese art and those cultures influenced by it. Up to the present day they are to be found together in painting, literature and garden design and are also much used on textiles and ceramics.
The three are first recorded as appearing together in a ninth-century poem by the Tang Dynasty poet Zhu Qingyu The Song Dynasty artist Zhao Mengjian ( c.1199-1264), among others of the time, made this grouping popular in painting. The actual term "Three Friends of Winter" can be traced back to the earliest known mention in literature, the Record of the Five-cloud Plum Cottage from The Clear Mountain Collection by the Song Dynasty writer Lin Jingxi ( 1242-1310)
"For his residence, earth was piled to form a hill planted with a hundred plum trees, which along with lofty pines and tall bamboo comprise the friends of winter."
It will depend on the artifact involved exactly how the three plants are represented artistically. In many cases sprigs are superimposed to form a unified design. In others the plants are divided among artifacts displayed close together, as on separate scrolls; on wooden panels within buildings; and on contiguous screens, as in the example by Yamamoto Baiitsu below. In the representations on Imari porcelain from Japan only portions of the plants are unified on the medallion in dishes but can be treated more fully round the side of taller vessels.

Culturally, pine, bamboo, and plum are regarded as linked in the context of winter because they flourish together at that season. For this reason they are commonly known as the Three Friends of Winter or referred to simply by their linked names: Song Zhu Mei in Chinese, transliterated as Sho Chiku Bai in Japanese (literally "pine, bamboo, plum"). The pine and plum-blossom add their fragrance to the cold air and are therefore valued as bringers of distinction to adverse conditions. This is further emphasised by the evergreen qualities of pine and bamboo, added to the early flowering of the plum while snow is still on the ground, and makes of them symbols of perseverance and integrity. In this connection, they also symbolizes longevity: bamboo and pine because of their evergreen quality, plum blossom because it reappears on the age-old branches.
In other weathers the three sometimes have contrary meanings. Since the pine withstands the wind it symbolises endurance, whereas the bamboo bends with the wind and survives in that contrasting way. Plum blossom, however, is scattered by the spring breeze and in that context symbolises the transitoriness of life and beauty. So, in a Korean poem by Kim Yuki (1580-1658), the three friends are brought together in order to underline the paradoxical contrast:

Peach and plum of springtime, don't flaunt your pretty blossoms;
Consider rather the old pine and green bamboo at year's end.
What can change these noble stems and their flourishing evergreen?
In Japan the three plants are known as 'the three auspicious friends' and are particularly associated with the start of the (lunar) New Year, appearing on greeting cards and as a design stamped into seasonal sweets. The three plants are also used in a traditional Japanese grading system, with pine as the top, bamboo as the middle, and plum as the lowest grade.

The history of Hizen ceramics is intimately connected to Japanese-Korean relations in the premodern period. In the late sixteenth century the warlord and unifier of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, invaded Korea with the ultimate intention of conquering China. In the course of two invasions and retreats, Hideyoshi and his generals coerced or persuaded a large number of Korean potters to come practice their trade in Japan.79 This voluminous influx of ceramic practitioners, technology, and ideas resulted in the establishment of numerous successful ceramic production centers in southwestern Japan. In Kyushu, in particular, potters who became known for their production of Korean-style ware traced their lineage back to Hideyoshi's invasion of 1592-1598. The result has often been described as a Korean revolution in Japanese ceramics.

TETSUSABURO :The first name of the artist

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