Hashida Yosaburo, three red and gold small plates with Daikoku god and Ebisu god

There are some differences between the three plates on which the designs of Daikoku god and Ebisu god (both are included in the Seven Lucky Gods) are drawn. Looking at Daikoku and Ebisu, the patterns, moldings, back names, etc., it is thought that each was one of the different sets.

Since designs such as Daikoku or Ebisu were so common in kutani, it is believed that a master craftsman like Hashida Yosaburo changed the common design a little by incorporating his own knowledge about the design and pattern, or the request from the pottery merchant. In addition, it is said that the shape or weight of each body might change if the production time changed.

size : diameter about 11.7 cm height about 2.5 cm

Generally, Daikoku is said to be the god of agriculture, and he has the image of carrying a large bag on his right shoulder and a gavel in his left hand on a rice bag. On the other hand, Ebisu’s image is that he has a fishing rod on his right shoulder and a sea bream in his left hand. However, all three small plates are a little different from that image. The differences are roughly as follows, including the following two images.

All three plates are common that Daikoku sits beside the rice bale and has nothing in his right hand. But two plates (plates ① and ②) raise their right hand, and the other (plate ③) puts his both hands on his knees. As for the fishing rod and sea bream that are typical of Ebisu, Ebisu in plate ① has not the sea bream.

On the plate ③ seems be drawn carefully as a whole, that is rice bale, large bag, and sea bream drawn in red are decorated with fine gold lines, and the facial expressions of Ebisu and Daikoku are gentle.

Tree plates are called as plate for namasu which is a dish of seafood or vegetables cut into small pieces and mixed with vinegar-based seasonings. The plates are warped toward the edge, but the plates ① and ② are a little steep, on the other hand, the plate ③ is a little loose.

In addition, the thickness of the body is different, and the weight is also different, such as 132g for plate ①, 119g for plate ②, and 96g for plate ③.

Their back names are written as “painted by Hashida (橋田)”. However, plates ② and ③ are the correct character “橋 (hashi)”, but plate ① is incorrect. The reason is unknown.

The first Hashida Yosaburo initially wrote “painted by Hashida” and from a certain time changed it to the cursive script “Yosaburo (与三郎)”. After that, the second or third Hashida Yosaburo wrote “Yosaburo” in the cursive script.

creator of the work

Hashida Yosaburo  橋田 与三郎   born in 1851 and died in 1926

The first Hashida Yosaburo was born in Sano Village (now Sano Town, Nomi City). He became one of the disciples of Saita Isaburo (斎田伊三郎), who had already opened the Sano kiln for painting in 1835, and worked hard for eight years, studying porcelain painting, and polished skill of the fine painting of Sano aka-e.

After the death of Saita Isaburo in 1875, Hashida presided over the “15th Day Meeting of Sano Porcelain Painters” with Kameda Sangetsu (亀田山月) and others, researched designs, pigments, etc. and taught young painters how to paint. He encouraged the villagers to paint and also taught them how to paint. His  encouragement contributed to building the foundation for the porcelain painting industry in Sano Village.

In addition, in 1876, Hashida and others invited as lecturers Nōtomi Kaijiro (Japanese-style painter, industrial designer and educator), Arakawa Tanrei (Kano school’s Japanese-style painter) and others to learn about porcelain designs and how to use pigments. In 1902, when he became the director of the painting department of the Kutani Ceramics Industry Association, he contributed to improving the quality of kutani through apprenticeship screening based on the apprenticeship examination system.

His painting style of Sano aka-e was inherited by the second Hashida Yosaburo and his disciples including Kitamura Yosamatsu and Nishino Jintaro (西野仁太郎).