Tomoda Kyukei, a pair of brocade small plates with a pair of phenix

explanation of the work

This pair of flower-shaped small plates, which might be the handle of fusuma (something like a door in a Japanese-style room), have a phoenix drawn on the front edge with brocade, and a paulownia flower pattern is colored in gold. On the back, a pattern that seems to be an auspicious cloud is drawn thick and firmly in red and gold. Even if it’s a small work, since the creator’s back name is written, it is believed that this work was highly evaluated.

size: diameter about 9.8 cm, height about 1.6 cm.

The phoenix pattern is drawn with brocade, and the lines are finely expressed by the creator‘s technique to apply a thin layer of gold. The paulownia pattern was used as an auspicious pattern for a long time, and even after the Meiji period, it was treated as a government emblem according to the Japanese national emblem, and it was distinguished from the paulownia pattern used by the general public, but since the pattern is used indiscriminately on the work, it might been made for a high-ranking person.

(3rd sheet)

On the back, a scene of floating auspicious clouds is drawn in red and gold. Looking at the shape of the plate, it is shaped like a flower with a notch, and molded as thin as it goes to the edge not to stick out from the surface of the fusuma. So it is thought that it was made by a highly skilled potter.

The back name is written as “Dainippon / produced by Kyukei-odo / kutani”.

creator of the work

Tomoda Kyukei   友田九径

born in 1862 and died in 1918

Tomoda Kyukei learned Japanese-style painting and porcelain painting from famous Japanese-style painters and porcelain painters at the time, and started his porcelain painting business in 1881. He was enrolled in Fujioka Iwahana-do kiln as a painter with Sasada Yuzan, Shimizu Seikan, etc., and it is said that he accumulated his skills at the kiln, so, he created splendid masterpieces of Kanazawa-kutani.

Kukei’s achievements were to utilize his knowledge and experience to develop paints suitable for kutani after learning from Godfried Wagner about how to formulate paints and how to make the body that goes well with paints. He succeeded in improving many Western paints since around 1891, so, the cheap and high-quality paints were developed for kutani, and added a variety of gorgeousness to Meiji Kutani. The paints did not cause peeling off from the body, so his developed paints became widespread among porcelain painters and contributed greatly to creating high-quality Meiji kutani..


reference No. 18101304
date of exhibition November 24, 2019
price J-yen 10800
remarks wooden box