This Japanese contemporary Kutani porcelain kogo is fashioned in the motif of a persimmon, which is called a Kaki and written 柿 in Japan. The kaki is very popular in Japan, and probably the most often used fruit as a motif in all Japanese art including that of the most historically famous. A kogo is used for holding incense and historically most often for the tea ceremony, at the temple, and for the small worship area in the home. The kogo are also wonderful items of character to decorate with, in addition to placing small items in around the house. With fine white Kutani porcelain, a kogo is handmade and hand-formed possibly with the assistance of the slip molding process to form the round bottom. A lid is formed in a shape with the bottom turned under like a hem almost creating a two-sided lid and allowing it to fit well against the bottom while giving it height, creating a lifelike form of the persimmon top and stem. It is all hand painted in underglaze the bottom in wonderful bright persimmon orange then glazed, the top or large stem in shades of brown, with just a few brown spots around the bottom of overglaze enamels. It is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. It is signed Kutani and with I think one extra mark for the maker or kiln, will continue to work on it for identification if possible, I found one Arita ware kiln's mark that is somewhat similar but this came with a Kutani tag which has since deteriorated and fallen off with the traditional Kutani mark. The seller from Japan verified it was Kutani and that its age was about 30 years old. This kogo is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. It is an excellent Kutani piece as a traditional kogo art of persimmon.
SIZE: Diameter and Height both 2 1/2" inches or 6.35 cm
A good article found is by Alexis Agliano Sanborn and called 'The Setting Sun of Autumn: Persimmons in Japan'; to excerpt: 'In Japan persimmons were first written about in the 8th century, at that time the fruit was considered a luxury good for the aristocrats. By the 17th century persimmons became a fruit for the common folk due to increased cultivation and uses. In Japan this fruit holds an important place in history and culture. Not only has this fruit long been a seasonal icon, included in poetry and artwork, it is an important ingredient and natural material'. She discusses all the uses of drying the different parts of persimmon, and many sites can be found on how to do this. She even adds a Haiku or short poem and the link to read the rest;
As I eat a persimmon The bell starts ringing At Horyuji Temple
Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)
And she adds several links to this including one to a documentary on youtube. A recommended.
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