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Subject:Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Martin Michels Sat, Jul 04, 2020 IP: 2001:1c03:5808:3800:

Again I need some help with some marks I've found.
Both marks are in my opinion from the same artist or studio. I believe the first character to be "Go" 五 although I'm not 100% sure, the last (3rd) character is "Do", in Kanji 堂 on one mark, in Katakana ド on the other mark.

But I'm totally lost with the 2nd character on both signatures. they look to be the same character, but no idea which one.

Hope one of you knows.

The Kanji signature is the mark of the displayed vase, the other was on another vase.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Martin Michels Wed, Jul 15, 2020

Someone suggested that the 2nd character is a Katakana character: ヱ = "e" and that the name of both marks (五ヱ堂 and 五ヱド) is Goedo (Go-e-do) or Goeido (Go-ei-do).
I think I agree with that.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Jul 16, 2020

Martin, it took me a while to dig the character out of the Unicode data base, but I finally found the following information on the meaning of 卫 in Chinese and Japanese:

衞 - wèi - variant of 衛|卫 / to guard / to defend

衛 - Wèi - surname Wei / vassal state during the Zhou Dynasty (1066-221 BC), located in present day Henan and Hebei Provinces -卫

衛 - wèi - to guard / to protect / to defend / abbr. for 衛生|卫生, hygiene / health / abbr. for 衛生間|卫生间, toilet

五衛門 【ごえもん】 (u) Goemon

堂 【どう - dō】 (n,n-suf) (1) temple; shrine; chapel; (2) hall; (suf) (3) (suffix attached to the names of some businesses, stores, etc.) company; (n,n-suf,n-pref) (4) (arch) (See 表座敷) front room; (P); ED; Name(s): 【どう】 (s) Dou 【けいどう】 (g) Keidou 【たかどの】 (s) Takadono 【どうざき】 (s) Douzaki SrcHNA

衞 【まもる】 (unclassified personal name) Mamoru

衛 【まもる】 (f,s) Mamoru 【えい】 (s,g) Ei 【まもり】 (s,g) Mamori 【うえい】 (s) Uei SrcHNA

五衛堂 - Hall of the Five Guardians (in Chinese)

五卫堂 "

五卫卜" ? possible Place of Five Guardians (in Chinese)

Hope you and I. Nagy can sort this out.

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Martin Michels Fri, Jul 17, 2020

Thanks for your effort and time spent on this.
Much appreciated.

I hope I.Nagy can add his thoughts about it.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Jul 17, 2020

I did some more research, which turned up information at regarding the 'Five Defenders of Buddhism' a.k.a. the 'Five Wisdom Kings'. These are the five fierce-looking deities who are seen in the thangkas and temple statuary of Tantric Buddhism guarding the realms represented by the four cardinal directions, as well as the central realm. The embedded link below has further details, including Japanese names of the deities.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Jul 18, 2020

Let's try that link again.

URL Title :Defenders of Buddhism

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Martin Michels Sun, Jul 19, 2020

Again thanks a lot for your time and effort.

I looked up 卫 which is indeed Chinese, but not a Japanese Kanji, although it comes quite near to ヱ in shape ("e" in Japanese Katakana). I believe the 2 marks come from the same source, because they sound too much the same: Go-e-do (Go-ei-do?).
The reason that I think it's ヱ is because on the 2nd mark the third character is ド ("do" in Katakana) instead of 堂 ("do" in Kanji). Too much the same to be a coincidence.
Again thanks for thinking along.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Jul 20, 2020

I see your point, though still find find it interesting that when I run the kana 'goedo/goeido' through function of the WWWJDIC Japanese-English Dictionary at the Australian Monash University, the results included the following, containing either the previously suggested 'Ei/Uei/衛/Defense/Defender character or the character 'Go/O/御', which leads off the name of the Buddha Shakyamuni 'oshakasan/御釈迦様/おしゃかさん, which in Chinese, at least, would be a classic use of double meanings:

-- 護衛艦 【ごえいかん】 (n) escort vessel; destroyer (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) ; 護衛 【ごえい】 (n,vs) guard; convoy; escort; (P); 護衛兵 【ごえいへい】 (n) body guard; military escort;
護衛を付ける 【ごえいをつける】 (exp,v1) to provide (a person) with a bodyguard

-- 御詠歌; ご詠歌 【ごえいか】 (n) {Buddh} pilgrim's song; pilgrim's hymn; song in praise of the Buddha ; ご影; 御影 【ごえい; みえい(御影); ぎょえい(御影)】 (n) (hon) (ぎょえい is usu. for royalty; みえい for Buddhism) image (esp. of a deity, buddha, royal, noble, etc.)

So, coincidence? I can still see 'Hall of the Five Defenders' in both marks, with a tacit implication of Buddhist context. But whatever the case, if you can't see it too, I believe I'll just slip away while I still have my scalp attached. ~:)


Bill H.

Subject:Re: Japanese mystery mark
Posted By: Martin Michels Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Dear Bill,
I'm not after your scalp, I see your point.
I was just trying to figure out the maker of these vases and signatures. And it looks like that information is lost in the mist of time.
With all what we discussed here, I didn't find more than just these 2 vases and signatures.
I was triggered by an article on the Satsuma website, see:

What is really important is that this is what the forum is intended for; discussion on Asian items. So thanks for your part in this.
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