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The Many Faces of Japan


Sharon Meredith, Austin TX   

Japanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita RyujiJapanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita Ryuji

This Japanese Bizen-yaki okimono or statue of a rabbit is almost the same size as the other Bizen ware rabbit added to our collection, yet looks quite different. It was made by famous Japanese potter Fujita Ryuji in the mid-20th century or during the Showa period which ran from 1926 to 1989. The style is very retro, so perhaps it was made during the early 1960's, but Fujita Ryuji died at the young age of 58, in 1965. The rabbit's features remind me more of a baby bunny, with quite a young face and perhaps body, and perhaps that is what the artist intended. Instead of the curvy features we see in many rabbit okimono, it has a modern and sleek fashioned style. It looks as if he made it instead of making it with one big piece of pottery, but by making each section at a time then putting them all together. It's eyes have openings, which we do not usually see in Bizen-yaki okimono. The artist signed it on the back with Japanese script writing.

This is in very good condition with no cracks, it has one very small chip on the end of its left ear. I did not use the picture my seller shared with me, because it is way blown up and makes it look much worse than it is, and it can be seen in the other pictures at its actual size. It has about a 1 cm straight line chip off the very end or tip of its ear so it is not pointed. To me, it looks like our feral cats do but not as bad as that either, when they have been fixed and get their ears clipped to show this. It does have some nice patina, and it does have some surface wear, it is old. Please see the pictures for your condition report. This is quite a unique Bizen ware or -yaki rabbit okimono. Rabbits can have many symbolic meanings, in addition to representing Japanese or Chinese astrology of the years animal signs, they are also commonly considered a symbol of fertility. They can also be symbolic of abundance, comfort, love, peace, harmony, rebirth, creativity and esoteric knowledge. Bizen-yaki is a pottery, so it is not as fragile as China, but it is not overly heavy either for this large and cool rabbit.

SIZE: Length front to back 8.5" or 21.59 cm, Width 4.3" or 10.92 cm, Height 5.1" or 12.95 cm, Weight 990 grams or 2.18 lbs. , it is a moderately heavy piece.

The Potter Ryuji Fujita 藤田 隆治

Ryuji Fujita written 藤田 隆治 born April 13, 1907 deceased January 28, 1965. Ryuji is his artist name, Tsuguharu Fujita his given name. Tsuguharu Fujita was born in Hōhoku, which is now a part of Shimonoseki city in Yamaguchi prefecture. He studied under artists Kyūho Noda and Hokkai Takashima. His works have received accolades from the Institute of Japanese Style Painting, Seiryū Shaten, and the Bunten Exhibition. In 1934 he established the Shin Nihonga Kenkyūkai with other artists such as Kenji Yoshioka. He was a Japanese artist and an Olympic bronze medalist in the painting category in the 1936 Berlin Games. His Bronze Medal painting was named アイスホッケー or Ice hockey. His name can be found on the Wikipedia list of the winners of Olympic Art Competitions. Of interest, for the art competitions which includes paintings, sculptures, and other works of art, the art itself represents one of the sports from the Olympic Games. His winning piece was later purchased by the Nazi Party after which its whereabouts became unknown. In 1938, he established the Shin Bijutsujin Kyoukai. Afterward, he moved to Kitakyushu city in Fukuoka prefecture, and continued producing work. He also worked as a lecturer at Saga University. He has been written about in several publications and his art can be found in several Japanese museums. This information came from Wilki and another site. Although he is mentioned in several other reliable sites, there is not much else found about his history.

Bizen ware 旧備前

Bizen-yaki is the pottery of Okayama Prefecture in Japan and was chosen as one of the famous old 6 potteries, called Rokkoyo. This pottery is also one referred to as of the Wabi-sabi; the comprehensive view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, or incomplete.

Bizen ware is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable by its iron like hardness, reddish brown color, absence of glaze though there can be traces of molten ash looking like glaze, and markings resulting from wood-burning kiln firing. Bizen is named after the village of Imbe in Okayama prefecture, formerly known as Bizen province. This artwork is Japan's oldest pottery making technique, introduced in the Heian period. Bizen is one of the six remaining kilns of medieval Japan.

Bizen clay bodies have a high iron content and, traditionally, much organic matter that is unreceptive to glazing. The clay can take many forms. The surface treatments of Bizen wares are entirely dependent on yohen, or kiln effects. Pine ash produces goma, or sesame seed glaze spotting. Rice straw wrapped around pieces creates red and brown scorch marks. The placement of pieces in a kiln causes them to be fired under different conditions, with a variety of different results. Considering that one clay body and type of firing is used, the variety of results is remarkable.

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Item ID: A1391


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Japanese Bizen-yaki Pottery Okimono of a Rabbit by 1936 Olympic Bronze Metal Winner Fujita Ryuji

$105 USD SOLD

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The Many Faces of Japan


Sharon Meredith
Austin
TX
  

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