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Miyagawa Chozo [Makuzu Chozo] (1797-1860) - Tea bowl
19th c.; 1850s-1860
Glazed ceramic
H: 7.2 cm (2 7/8 inch), D: 12.3 cm (4 7/8 inch)

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) in his “Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan”, (Boston 1894) describes the yuzuriha as “(…) a kind of laurel, with lanciform leaves glossy as bronze; it is called by the Japanese yuzuri-ha. [foot note: “yuzuru” signifies to resign in favor of another; “ha“ signifies a leaf. The botanical name, as given in Hepburn’s dictionary is Daphniphillum macropodum.] It is held to be a tree of good omen, because no one of its old leaves ever falls off before a new one, growing behind it, has well developed, For thus the yuzuri-ha symbolizes hope that the father will not pass away before his son has become a vigorous man, well able to succeed him as the head of the family. Therefore, on every New Year’s day, the leaves of the yuzuriha, migled with frond of fern, are attached to the shimenawa [straw rope, a sacred symbol of Shinto] which is then suspended before every Izumo home.”

An off-white stoneware bowl, glazed all over, except for the foot. The underglaze design of the yuzuri-ha branch is highlighted by over glaze gold. The frameless “Makuzu” seal impressed within the foot. The lid of the original box (tomobako) is inscribed on the outside “yuzuriha chawan” and on the inside “Higashiyama, Chozo zo” and sealed “Makuzu”. Outer box with a certificate of authenticity by Miyagawa Kosai (b. 1922) and on the inside of the lid, a certificate of quality by Hounsai, fifteenth generation Iemoto of Urasenke.

Original box (tomobako)
Certificate of quality by Hounsai (Urasenke XV)
Certificate of authenticity by Makuzu Kosai (b. 1922)

MIYAGAWA, Kosai: Makuzu, Tokyo (Mainichi) 1988.
Exhibition Catalogue Kyoto 2000: Chanoyu no kyoyaki. Makuzu Chozo, Chado Shiryokan.
POLLARD, Moyra Clare: Master Potter of Meiji Japan. Makuzu Kozan (1842-1916) and his workshop, Oxford (Oxford University Press) 2002.

all text, images BachmannEckenstein | JapaneseArt


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