A Japanese vintage pottery quarter moon shaped kake-hanaire or hanging flower vase. On this very unusual kake-hanaire, a rabbit carrying a bag on a stick over his shoulder is molded. A very unusual piece and finding from one of our main dealers in Japan. A kake-hanaire is the type of vase that is designed for decoration at the tea ceremony, just think how beautiful with fresh flowers hanging on the wall! Often, they are held outside and these make beautiful pieces outside as well. I do not know for sure what type of pottery this is- it is not Bizen nor do we believe it is Tamba ware, and we do not find it in our paperwork except to recall who we purchased it from. It is nicely made, with some barely visible and expected wear to the surface. but no cracks or chips. This does not leak, and it is able to hold flowers. It appears to be about 30-40 years old.
SIZE: Approximately: Length: 7" or 17.78 cms, Width: 2 1/ 2" or 6.35 cms, Mouth about top about 2" wide
Symbolism and histoy
My new friend Eugenira sent us this information about the rabbit and moon symbolism from Japan. I recalled there were stories from my childhood, now I know why!
Hi, the motif of the rabbit in the moon in Japan is connected to the September 15 harvest moon festival, known as 'Tsukimi. Of course the harvest moon is celebrated in agrarian cultures throughout the world). It's an ancient festival in Japan, adopted from like everything Japanese, China. During the Heian Period, when moon-viewing was a popular pastime among the aristocracy (think Genji), they would use the occasion to sit on boats on the river and admire the reflection of the moon on the water and challenge each other to poetry contests and so on.
The tradition is very important in Japan is a very popular motif there. Anything Japanese you come across that depicts a rabbit, the moon, and some pampas grass is a reference to the festival. There are a couple of different folktales associated with the origins of the "Rabbit in the Moon." Eugenia also sent me a few links with fables and childrens songs.
The following is an excerpt from a blog we found called the Tsuku blog about rabbits in Japan: Not only are they popular pets- there was a veritable house-rabbit craze in the Meiji Period- but most schools and kindergartens keep them in a pen outdoors, to teach kids about responsibility and caring for living creatures. Besides being symbols of peace, docility and cuteness, they are also considered to be lucky. Importantly, hares were also considered symbols of fertility as they are in most of the rest of the world. The moon has also been considered to be deeply connected to pregnancy and childbirth. Thus, the moon, a God of Conception and Childbirth, with a servant, the symbol of fertility- the hare – are a natural combination. It is because of this connection with fertility and abundant offspring that the ancient they have long said that there is a rabbit on the moon.
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