Nishino Jintaro, red and gold bowl with Hotei god and Chinese children

The design of “Hotei and karako (Chinese children)” can also be seen in ink paintings, Kano school paintings, or ukiyo-e paintings. The scene of “Hotei god and karako is playing together” is drawn in this big bowl. “Hotei with a harmonious appearance” and “karako playing innocently” are drawn in good harmony, and it is thought that this bowl was made as lucky things when celebrating (birth of a child).

size ; diameter about 30.3 cm  height about 8.5 cm

“Hotei” was a real monk in the Tang dynasty, and in Japan, was added to one of the Seven Lucky Gods, because of the friendliness, commonness, etc., that everyone felt from Hotei.

When looking at Hotei, his facial expression, a smile, a wide forehead, a drum belly, and the appearance of a rough robe carrying a large bag, everything can be felt familiar. It seems that the way of life of Hotei loved by people overlaps with the growth of children.

The design of “karako” was introduced to Japan in the Tang dynasty, and it was called “child of Tang (country)”, and one day, by drawing a large number of children (boys), people wished for “wealthy prosperity” or “prolific prosperity”.

So, it seems that this work was made for good luck by combining “Hotei” as the god who controls the prosperity of wealth and many children who play well.

One of the highlights of this bowl is the solid molding without distortion. Nishino had an experience of potter’s wheel at the Kitade kiln which was popular for making the body in Enuma county. Even though the kilns for making the body had already been built by Saita Isaburo (斎田伊三郎) in Sano Village, Nishino gained experience of potter’s wheel at the reputed Kitade kiln for some purpose.

The back name is written as “九谷西埜(野)製kutani / produced by Nishino”.

creator of the work

Nishino Jintaro 西野 仁太郎  years of birth and death are unknown

Nishino Jintaro was a potter’s wheel at the Kitade kiln opened in 1868 in Sakae Village, Enuma County. This kiln was originally a kiln for making the body, and it became popular for its high-quality body, so, its name spread throughout the prefecture. Later, it was renamed the Sesen kiln, and added porcelain painting business. (He did not seem to be involved in the painting.)

After that, Nishino became one of the disciples of the first Hashida Yasaburo (橋田与三郎1851-1926) who followed Sano aka-e in Sano Village, and then, independently, he started the porcelain painting business and produced works for the domestic market. According to the record, in 1913, Nishino was elected a representative of the domestic department of the Nomi Kutani Ceramics Industry Association.