This Japanese vintage Folk Art hyotan or gourd is made in the oil drip glaze fashion. Of course, it was a purchase from a Japanese store and made by a Japanese artist. It is very pretty and large at 15 inches. What appears to be an obijime cord is tied around it. The cord makes the perfect touch to it and a great piece to hang it by. It makes a very nice decorative piece. There are many stories and beliefs about the hyotan in Japan. The history goes back just a few hundred years A.D. The gourd is seen as a symbol of good luck, good health and prosperity. It is associated with and found in many regional folk tales. In earliest mythology, the gourd was featured as a magic fruit of salvation.
The gourd is found in the names of deities in section 'The Birth of the Deities' after the creation of the Japanese islands by the primordial pair Izanagi and Izanami, they were born from the deities who governed the river and sea domains. A set of three gourds are a good luck symbol or 'san-byoshi sorou' in Japanese. It means a great person all-round. Also a set of six gourds is even luckier, because 'mu-byou' means no sickness! Gourds also remind us of Hideyoshi Toyotomi of the 1500s,, one of the most well-known historical samurai heroes. Hideyoshi’s battle ensign was a gourd motif. He would add further gourd motifs to his ensign every time he won a battle.
This finely decorated and glazed hyotan age unknown per the Japanese seller but with the use of age, but with. no cracks or chips. It is probably about 30-40 years old. Imo.
Size: Length 15 inches or 37 cm
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