A Japanese Vintage Bizen yaki Pottery Bunchin or Paperweight of Dragon made in the 1940s. With the help of a friend, it is a commemorative piece of a 2500 year history of the Imperial Line. It celebrates the assumption of the title ‘emperor’ by the mythical sovereign now called Jimmu Tennō 神武天皇 on precisely Feb. 2, 660 BC. Emperor Jimmu was the first Emperor of Japan, according to legend. We do know that the top line of kanji contains this title and information. According to Japanese mythology, Jimmu is a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu, through her grandson Ninigi, as well as a descendant of the storm god Susanoo. He launched a military expedition from Hyuga near the Inland Sea, captured Yamato, and established this as his center of power. In modern Japan, Jimmu's accession is marked as National Foundation Day on February 11. Most likely, this is a commemoration of that date in 1940.
This is a gorgeous Bizen yaki piece, with well-carved relief in the Bizen clay in the relief of a dragon and clouds. The rim is a beveled scallop with a thin raised border. The back contains more information, we hope to find what it says. It has a very nice patina. It has no cracks or chips and is in excellent condition.
Size: Diameter 4.2inches or 10.41 cm, Height 1.4 inches or 3.55cm, Weight 278 grams, .61 lbs.
Bizen Ware Pottery or Bizen- Yaki 備前焼き
Bizen 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.
The above is an excerpt from and see more at the Okayama Prefecture tourism website.
Additionally, from the modern Japanese pottery marks blogspot 'according to Marmie':
Bizen Yaki has a history of about one thousand years. It has avoided foreign influences and has remained true to the old shapes and techniques. Kei Fujiwara in Barbara Adachi's ‘The Living Treasures of Japan’ said, ‘There is not better clay anywhere. We dig it up from beneath the rice paddies of Imbe. Just feel it. Yes, it can be described as creamy and silky to the touch, but what is important to the potter is that it has great plasticity.’ The Six Families of Bizen, as mentioned on Robert Yellin's blog, are Kaneshige, Mori, Kimura, Ottan, Hayami, and Terami. The first three families are still producing wonderful wares. Of course, there are incredible potters with the names of Fujiwara, Yamamoto and more!
Japanese Antique and Vintage Pottery, Porcelain, Netsuke, Masks, Okimono, Tea Items, Jewelry & More!
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