This is a fine Hagi-yaki Chawan (tea bowl) by Famous 駕洛窯 Garaku-gamaThe 駕洛窯 Garaku-gama is now managed by third generation Shimizu Hiroshi, who specializes in making replicas of old Korean chawan, this style that of Hagi pottery in the often seen gray and wine/ rust colors. Adding even more character to the bowl is the story below regarding the writing on the bowl and it's , in addition to its lopsided roundness. The style for this chawan is also called Kimuumi and is decorated in the motif of the yearly zodiac of the year of the Snake, identified by the central mark 巳. Then the rest of the inscription 歳德神. reads Toshitokujin or "Deity of the Year" , (please see more below). This Hago-yaki chawan is about 30-40 years old, and in excellent condition with no cracks or chips and has been used once. Thank you David Morrison Pike potter and author in Japan with identifying the other information about the piece itself; as well as David Callens.
SIZE: Diameter 5 inches or 12.7 cms, Height 4 inchesor 10.16 cms
The Snake written as 蛇 in Japanese, is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac and related to the Chinese calendar, as well as in related East Asian zodiacal or calendrical systems. The Year of the Snake is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 巳. In Chinese Horoscope the year of the Snake are people born in the years as listed on Wikipedia under "List of lunar years of the Snake",1 1905. 1917. 1929. 1941. 1953. 1965. 1977.1989.2001. and 2013, up through current years.
With the gracious assistance of Dr. Gabe Greve who writes the very interesting and detailed blog 'Daruma San in Japan, Japanese Art and Culture':
The letter is Snake 巳 for the year of the snake and the other inscription is 歳德神. Deity of the Year; toshitokujin. According to ancient Asian lore, the new year comes with a new deity, the 'Deity of the Year' toshitokujin 歳德神 is said to be female. Since she likes her place to be clean and tidy, people have to clean their homes too to welcome her. He / she is welcomed to stay in the . kadomatsu 門松 pines (decorations) at the gate .
until the 7th day of the New Year. This time is called 'matsu no uchi', inside the home with the pine decorations. The New Year decorations must be set up a few day before the last day of the year. Otherwise they will be ichiya kazari 一夜飾り one-night decorations, an unlucky omen. And they are taken down on the seventh day. This is part of the Yin-Yang Theory of China, called "onmyoodoo 陰陽道" in Japanese.
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