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Subject:Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Martin Michels Wed, Feb 26, 2020 IP:

A couple of weeks ago I saw this Satsuma bowl on Catawiki with a curious mark, which was translated as Keikinzando 啓錦山堂 (see picture 3).
The Kinzando part looks correct to me, but I'm in doubt about the first character 啓.
Or is this right? And if not, what is the correct writing of this 1st Kanji?

I hope for response from our more experienced Asian language experts of the forum.
Thanks in advance,

Link :Michels

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Feb 27, 2020

Martin, I'm unsure if this is relevant but offer it as a possible answer to the puzzlement.

The first character of the mark may be a seal-script form of the Chinese character "皈", pronounced "gui" in mandarin (please note that I found no comparative seal script version of this character in my handbook but extrapolated its potential relevance from other characters containing the same elements and studied separately). "皈" is used by Buddhists to describe one who has found refuge or a home in the Buddha or Buddhism. It further serves as a Buddhist variant of the Chinese character "歸" (also "gui") and--presumptively--its Japanese variant "帰" (ki), meaning "a homecoming", "to return", "to restore" and "to send back".

When I Googled "帰錦山堂" (Ki Nishikiyama Do}, I got a hit on the following information on the Kato Shrine, machine-translated from the link below:

"Enshrined here are Katō Kiyomasa, Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin.

Once named ”Nishikiyama Shrine”, it was built within Kumamoto Castle premises at the order of the government to separate Buddhism and Shintoism in 1871. Then, it was eventually relocated in 1874 to Kyomachi, Kumamoto City; since the castle property had been acquired by the Japanese Army.

The present day Kato Shrine was finally rebuilt on January 23rd, 1962; at the 2-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City address."

So if there's any validity to my findings, this plate may have something to do with the shrine as originally named or someone enshrined there. I should add that the term used for the shrine is "神社" (jinja) and not the Chinese "堂" (tang - means "Shrine" in the Buddhist context) Hope my transliteration is good.

For what it's worth,

Bill H.

URL Title :Kato Shrine

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Martin Michels Fri, Feb 28, 2020

Dear Bill,

W O W.

I'm truly impressed with your answer. What a research and time it must haven taken.
Thank you so much for that.

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: antigone Fri, Feb 28, 2020


In Satsuma the romance of Japan from Louis Lawrence, edited by Morvan Gray -2011; there is a same kind of mark and it seems to read this mark Hankizan do,
Please let's find the explanation of this book,

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Feb 29, 2020

No doubt, this mark provided by antigone begins with the character "阪", which may be viewed at阪 in its seal-script form. Its "Han" pronunciation often means the city of "Osaka", and it also is pronounced "Saka" when used in that city's stand-alone name.

Maybe I. Nagy can take a peek at the below Japanese text that I'd machine translated above (from the site's Japanese language page) to see if there are any clues to be found in it.


Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Martin Michels Sat, Feb 29, 2020

Antigone & Bill (and perhaps I.Nagy),

I did some research about Hankinzan Do and did found Hankinzan Do marks looking like the one on the bookpage and like the mark I displayed.
Looking at the 1st Kanji of my mark in comparison to the one of the book, there are some differences. The right part is different and the left part has 2 "bubbles" (mine) or 3 "bubbles" (book).

Is it possible that there are 2 versions of the name Hankinzan written with different 1st Kanji and if so, which???
I found a reference to Hankinzan written as 版錦山 on an internet page about Satsuma:
in the chapter about Kinkozan.

But is that correct? Other Kanji with the same right site translate also as "Han": 阪 - 販 - 飯 - 鈑. So which are used for Hankinzan.
I did some Google searching with all 5 different 1st Kanji + 錦山堂 (X錦山堂) with no results.

Perhaps I.Nagy can join this discussion
with his insight?


Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: I.Nagy Sun, Mar 01, 2020

Dear Everybody,

It reads definitely 阪錦山堂 - Han Kinzan-dō -
the more because a well known Japanese Art and Craft
Shop in the GInza named Hōman-dō (宝満堂) has put
the same reading on his catalogue under Satsuma ware
caption. In my opinion Han (阪)could stand for Ǒsaka.

With regards,

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Mar 01, 2020

I found another website (link for pasting below) with an assortment of "Hankinzan Do" marks, giving the standard characters 版錦山堂 (the first character being "Ban" in mandarin, meaning a printing block). The seal-script marks included one like Martin has shown here with two "bubbles", and the remainder with three. The Chinese etymology website of zhuanshu does show one with three "bubbles" but nothing with two fully formed "bubbles" on the right side of the vertical stroke, just on the left side and another like the standard radical.

Above item is a pdf doc, so just use the find function and search Hankinzan.

Agree, I. Nagy needs to rescue us yet again. :)

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: antigone Sun, Mar 01, 2020

Dear Martin, Bill, Nagy,

What an interesting thread,
Please let's find one drawing from Han Kinzan-dō, drawn quite in the same way than Martin' example, from Satsuma the romance of Japan from Louis Lawrence, edited by Morvan Gray -2011,

Thank you,

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: antigone Sun, Mar 01, 2020

and with the explanation

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Martin Michels Sun, Mar 01, 2020

Dear I.Nagy, Bill and Antigone,

Thank you all for your time and contributions to this discussion, it was very enlightening.
This is truly what this forum is for, helping each other and learning something along the way.
Much appreciated,

Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: I.Nagy Mon, Mar 02, 2020

Dear Everybody,

Today, I visited Hōnandō Antique Art Shop in Ginza area. They have a few pieces with this Hankinzandō
mark.They didn't know much more either. According to their information the workshop called Hankinzandō where these objects were made may have been in Kōbe.
(Next to Ǒsaka - could be the link to 阪) This workshop have been producing objects for export.
Therefore, all the objects that have this marking in Japan are called "satogaeri" (里帰り) -
objects imported to foreign country, to return to the country of origin.
Finally, the 版 character simply could be the result of misreading.

With regards,
I.Nagy | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |