Nakamura Shuto, red and gold sake bottle with a pair of sparrows and bamboos

explanation of the work

The elaborate painting style of Nakamura Shuto was a symbolic one which was proud of the elegance of Enuma kutani. This work is characterized by inheriting the red elaborate paintings represented by Takeuchi Ginshu and his younger brother Asai Ichimo. It is a fine drawing work expressed only with red and gold while emphasizing the whiteness of the body.

size; caliber 2.2 cm, torso width about 8.8 cm, height about 16 cm

On the surface of the plump torso of sake bottle, a pair of sparrows is returning to the bamboo grove nest. Sparrows and bamboo was often drawn together since ancient times. The highlight here is that one sparrow is lovely drawn as turning around to watch over the other.

From the neck to the torso of the sake bottle, patterns such as waves, lattices, and arabesque are finely drawn, also the pattern of arrow wings at the bottom is extremely precise drawing.

The back name is written as “kutani / produced by Shuto”. Since Shuto was the owner of the kiln, it is thought that he wrote not “painted by Shuto” but “produced by Shuto”.

creator of the work

The first Nakamura Shuto   中村 秋塘

born in 1865 and died in 1928.

Nakamura Shuto was born in Daishoji, and when he was 12 years old, in 1877, he succeeded his father’s porcelain painting business (started in 1868). In 1878, he entered the private school “Ishin-sha”, which was founded by Takeuchi Ginshu to teach porcelain painting, and Shuto learned porcelain painting from Ginshu.

In this way, he made use of his father’s remains and the teachings of Takeuchi Ginshu. After that, extensively studying the techniques of various kilns, he demonstrated his outstanding skills in red and gold painting. It can be said that the delicate painting style of Nakamura Shuto was inherited from the essence of Enuma kutani, which boasted a high level of elegance.

Shuto kiln  秋塘窯

The Shuto kiln was opened in 1917 by Nakamura Shuto at his home.

The works of red and gold fine paintings and the works by new painting technique which he developed at the year before the opening of the kiln were all highly evaluated as excellent products.

Many potters and potters were trained in this kiln, and it is said that they later supported this kiln and that the products of this kiln were mainly sold by famous pottery merchant Inoue Shoten at Daishoji.


reference No. 18080406
date of exhibition 2019.9.25
price sold out