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 a master craftsman, and are also finished as “tableware for pleasing-eye. 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 please 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 “九谷 東画kutani / painted by Higashi” 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 Isaburou, and was later said to be a master of aka-e fine painting. 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 managed by the second Oda Jinzo who was a pottery merchants, and it is also known that he worked for painting with Takada Ryozan and other master craftsmen.