Tomita Shokaku, red and gold bowl with goldfishes in net

The mesh of net stretched on the inside and outside of the bowl becomes finer as it goes down. This elaborate and skillful drawing technique is called ami-de”, it was first invented by Saita Isaburo (斎田伊三郎) who was called “Dokai (道開)” as the founder of Sano aka-e. Afterwards, this technique was inherited by Saita’s disciples, and the first Tomita Shokaku (富田松鶴), who was one of Saita’s leading disciples, was good at it. This painting technique became a style in the aka-e painting of Meiji kutani, so the net pattern depended on each painter.

size: caliber about 11.8 cm, height about 7.2 cm

Looking at the inside of the bowl from above, it seems as if four goldfishes are swimming in the net. It is an amazing skill because the mesh becomes finer as it goes down. The thread of the net is bundled at the center like a round pattern connecting 卍, moreover, the thickness of the line has no unevenness.

Looking at the outside, four goldfishes are drawn as if they are swimming in the net. Skillful brush strokes can also be seen, and the scales of the goldfishes, the streak pattern of the tail fins are finely drawn in gold, and the small black eyes are cute.

The back name is written as “九谷 松鶴堂 七十五翁筆kutani / Shokaku-do / painted by 75 years aged old man”. It seems that some of the other disciples of Saita also indicate in the foot that they lived beyond the age of 70. The first Hashida Yosaburo (橋田与三郎), who was one of Saita’s leading disciples, also wrote “Kaga / kutani / 75 years aged old man / Yosaburo”. It seems to be related to the fact that Saita died at the age of 74 in the first year of the Meiji period. This sign can be often seen in Saita’s first disciple painters.

creator of the work

The first Tomita Shokaku   富田 松鶴  born in 1847, and died in 1925

The first Tomita Shokaku became a disciple of Saita Dokai, and after that, he started the porcelain painting business in 1867 and named him Shokaku. In particular, Tomita inherited the painting style of Saita Isaburo’s ami-de and incorporated it into Sano aka-e excellently. This Tomita’s painting style was inherited by the second Tomita Shokaku.