Higashi Bunkichi, five red and gold middle plates with figures and landscape

creator of the work

In the latter half of the Meiji period, the proportion of Kutani produced for the domestic market gradually increased, and some master craftsmen created tableware with a slightly high-class taste. Like these works, five or ten sets of the medium plates, which were served as both a large plate and a small plate, were also arranged as furniture for merchants, etc. It is said that these were sometimes used for gorgeous banquets or dining of a large family.

size: diameter about 14.6 cm, height about 3.8 cm

These plates are elaborately painted by the skill of a master craftsman, and are also finished as “tableware that could enjoy their eyes”. Each is divided into 4 panels to fill the surface, and the designs in each panel are the natural scenery of the seaside, the person sitting facing the sea and reading a book, and Daikoku god and Ebisu god of business sitting under the pine trees on the seaside. In particular, it seems that the expressive Daikoku and Ebisu might delight the eyes of the people who had dining.

These plates have not the delicacy of Kanazawa kutani, but it seems that these were made as a practical tableware. It is found that around the time when embossing molding became widespread, changes to meet demand could be seen in tableware, such as durable thick molding, shape to meet the use, and slightly recessed molding inside the foot to handle easily.

The back inscription is written in “Kutani / Toga” in a slightly recessed circle in the center of the foot.

creator of the work

Higashi Bunkichi  東 文吉

born in 1854), and died in 1913.

Higashi Bunkichi learned porcelain painting directly from Saita Dokai, and was later said to be a master of aka-e fine painting of “Dokai style”. On the other hand, he was well received because he also made excellent paintings on daily tableware as demand changed. He worked for painting factory run by the second Oda Jinzo, and it is also known that he worked for painting with Takada Ryozan and other master craftsmen.


reference No. 2006171
date of exhibition October 29, 2020
price sold out