This Japanese antique Tanba Ware pottery suiteki is made in the motif of an old man or Rōjin 老人. A suiteki is a water dropper used for calligraphy called 'Shodo 書道'. The identification as old Tanba Ware came from a well-known dealer in Japan. Rōjin represents the character such as one portrayed in Noh plays of a 'sick old man', who has a specific name in the plays, but I cannot find the specific name at the moment. In the Noh plays he is also called 'Okina' with a more specific name depending on the character and play, and I think the sick old man is called Chichi-no-jō just not positive. One can see this represented in many ways; he has scoliosis of the back, he is wearing thick glasses, his nose, lips, ears, and fingers are big and exaggerated for his size, he has a skin growth on his face, he has smallpox marks in a few places. He is very detailed with his little kimono, obi sash, and his sicknesses, he has Samurai style hair in a short ponytail, a very unusual motif to be chosen to be made by the artist, it was probably made with someone in mind. The suiteki is used as water vessel in calligraphy to keep the ink stone wet. This is probably best as a collector's item. This would make a great gift. It is not signed, and most likely not made for export. This was a purchase from Japan and we know it dates to at least the 19th century with the belief it has the potential of being older. It is a great piece with great character and a story. He has a beautiful deep patina, and looks somewhat like a very old piece reglazed, and maybe older than we think, the design is quite old traditional. He appears to be in good aged condition with no cracks or chips. We have added a link about Tanbatachikui Ware 丹波 or Tanba -yaki and its history to our 'Favorites' links on our homepage.
SIZE: Approx. Height 4 inches or 10.16 cm, Width 2 inches or 5.08 cm, Depth 1 5/8 inches or 4.12 cm
Shodo 書道 - Calligraphy
Calligraphy is called Shodo in Japanese. A brief from the Japanese educational site of calligraphy. We have added a link to our ‘Favorites’ links which can be found on our homepage. It is a business and sells calligraphy supplies, but they are also an.eu extension site providing extensive information. Japanese calligraphy
The Japanese calligraphy or Shodo is one of the most popular fine arts of Japan. Calligraphical works are appreciated not less than products of painting. But this kind of the fine arts possesses also philosophical sense. In the simplest understanding, the calligraphy is an art to write beautifully. The master creates a work of art by bamboo brush and inks on the rice paper. It transfers harmony and beauty. The parity of simple and graceful is embodied in calligraphical works as one of main principles of Japanese aesthetics wabi-sabi.
There is nothing casual in Japanese calligraphy. The beginning, the direction, the form and the ending of lines, the balance between elements are important for each line and point, and even the empty space testifies about many things. The hieroglyphs are harmonious, proportional, balanced.
Japanese calligraphy is not only about the beauty, but also the sense of more complexity. Harmony and elegance of lines create not only aesthetic pleasure but transfer also thousands of years wisdom. Each line is meaningful; each movement of calligrapher’s brush creates something fine.
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