Akamaru Setsuzan, brocade vase with a thousand of scholars

In Japan, this figure was called “hyaku-rou-zu” (百老図figure of a hundred old men) and was incorporated into the design by many master craftsmen. On the other hand, in Western Europe, this figure was patterned, and even if a thousand old men were not drawn, it was called “figure of a thousand person”.

This figure was popular until the middle of the Meiji period, and even if 100 people were not actually drawn, it was called a figure of 100 old men, while master craftsmen had their own ideas for how to draw them. So, it is said that one painter drew them like a hermit or another drew them like a scholar.

size: caliber about 9 cm body diameter (maximum) about 14 cm height about 19.9 cm

It is said that the figures might be seen as a hermit or a scholar because it was a design that means auspiciousness (longevity or prosperity), and the figures were painted on vases, big bowl, sake bottles, cup and saucers etc. This creator also designed various figures and drew a design of “thousand scholars” on this vase.

You can see the unique way of drawing in this vase. The arrangement and appearance of the old men who seem to be scholars are different, and it will be fun to see them. The creator changed the facial expressions of each of them, and added a scholar with a horse and a child.

This vase, which is about 20 cm in height and has a large mouth, is molded so that the lower part of the vase becomes to be tapered as it goes down, while maintaining the uniform thinness of the body. The vase is molded so that it became wider as it went up, and it is thought that the creator tried to draw some old men in a large size.

The back name is written in red as “大日本九谷Dainippon kutani / made by 雪山堂made by Setsuzan-do”. It is considered that this was an export product because the name of the country of origin and the place of origin are clearly entered.

creator of the work

Akamaru Setsuzan 赤丸 雪山 born in 1827, dead in 1897

Akamaru was one of the master craftsmen of kutani, Kanazawa, from the early to mid-Meiji period. He was active as a professor of porcelain painting at the Ishikawa Prefectural Laboratory and at Ijun-sha (painting factory) managed by Utsumi Kichizo (内海吉造).

In addition, since he was listed as a painter in the works of Inoue Shoten (井上商店) a pottery merchant in Daishoji, Enuma-gun, it can be said that his fame was high.

Mizuta Seizan (水田生山), one of the master craftsmen of Meiji kutani, was one of disciples of Akamaru.