This is a very nice, and special Futaoki. Futaoki are used to put the lid of either the water or tea kettle or the Mizusashi water container on it during the tea ceremony. and an essential item for tea ceremony or tea party. They also make wonderful lid rests when cooking, but I do not know if I would use this specific one; I think it is a valuable collectors and decorative item due to the history and potter. The type of pottery is Banko ware. Banko ware is traditional ware of the Japanese Mie prefecture since 1753. The motif in the design of a traditional Japanese paper lamp called a Bonbori. It has carved out hearts around the very pretty hand painting in dark red and and gold colored flowers and borders. It was made by famous potter Zuizan Kaga III about 30 years ago. It is signed by him in addition to the original signed box specially made for it. The tomobako is a box made especially for an item, with the potter and kiln mark and signature and sometimes other information. It is very important to have for storage and value of the piece. As shown in the pictures, it is in good condition with no chips or cracks. It may have some age crazing. It is a small piece, but no less valuable due to it's size:
SIZE: Length 2.1" or 5.3 cms, Width 2.4" or 6.2 cms and Height 2" or 5.1 cms
This kogo was made by famous potter Zuizan Kaga III born in 1944, who was designated a Human Intangible Cultural Treasure of Mie Prefecture in 1987, about 30 years ago. Born in 1944 in Kuwana city of the Mie Prefecture, Kaga Zuizan III studied under his grandfather Kaga Zuizan I, and inherited the name Zuizan from his father in 1984. In 1987, his work was designated Intangible Cultural Property of Kuwana.
Intangible Cultural Properties 無形文化財 of Japan
Intangible Cultural Properties or mukei bunkazai, as defined by the Japanese government's Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties in 1950, are Cultural Properties of high historical or artistic value such as drama, music, and craft techniques. The term refers exclusively to human skills possessed by individuals or groups which are indispensable to produce Cultural Properties.
Items of particular importance can be designated as Important Intangible Cultural Properties written 重要無形文化財 and said as jūyō mukei bunkazai in Japanese. Recognition is also given to the owners of an item to encourage its transmission. There are three types of recognition: individual recognition, collective recognition, and group recognition. Special grants of two million yen a year are given to individual holders (the National Living Treasures ) to help protect their properties. The government also contributes part of the expenses incurred either by the holder of an Intangible Cultural Property during training of his successor, or by a recognized group for public performances.
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