Sasada Yuzan, a set of colored and gold bowls with pattern of “sho-chiku-bai”

In Meiji kutani, a set of three bowls are often seen. At the banquet, three different kinds of foods were served in each bowl, and each bowl was turned in turn. People who were there ate three kinds of foods taken from the bowl to the small plate. Therefore, celebration design and pattern of “松sho-竹chiku-梅bai” (pine-bamboo-plum) are drawn in three bowls while changing the size little by little, and delicate patterns of “sho-chiku-bai” are painted in various colors to express congratulations. It is a very elaborate work, decorated with the techniques of the time.

size small bowl diameter about 17.8cm height about 6.4cm
middle bowl diameter about 20.8cm height about 7.2cm
large bowl Diameter about 23.8cm height about 8.4cm


Originally, in China, “sho-chiku-bai” were favored by intellectuals because pine and bamboo do not fade in the cold and plums blossom in the cold. It was considered in Japan that from the Edo period, “sho-chiku-bai” showed “prominence”. So, the “sho-chiku-bai” was often painted on ceramics, lacquerware, dyeing etc. for celebration. This set of bowls is decorated with a variety of colors and gold to finish in conspicuous bowls.

In addition, the combined design of “sho-chiku-bai” was converted into a pattern of “sho-chiku-bai”. In the Edo period, “sho-chiku-bai” became widely used for not only costumes but also festive furoshiki (wrapping cloth), wedding futons (beddings), furniture a representative of the auspicious patterns.

Yuzan was easy to apply the technique of oa-chibu (青粒small dots of blue paint) and shiro-chibu (白粒small dots of white paint) for expressing pine leaves and plum blossoms, and adopted the technique of gold-moriage (overcoated gold) for the decoration of patterns, and the technique of fine dots and gold blurring was used in the background.

The back name is written simply as “九谷kutani / 製made by 友山Yuzan”.

creator of the work

Sasada Yuzan 笹田友山 born in 1840, died in 1914

Sasada Yuzan studied pottery from a child and opened his painting factory in 1872 and did the painting business, but the factory was closed in 1878, and after re -training at Ijun-sha (painting factory managed by 内海吉造), he restarted the painting business alone. He called “友山Yuzan”.

Although many of the works of Sasada are painted in brocade, it is said that the work of ko-kutani’s imitation goods was almost un authentic. His disciples were an excellent porcelain painters such as Takeuchi Seizan (竹内誠山) and Hatta Itsuzan (八田逸山).