Important Cultural PropertyCeladon porcelain bowl (small)

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  • H10.1 aperture D22.4
  • Southern Song period/13th century
  • Tokyo National Museum

These bowls were accidentally found in the garden of a private house near the western foot of Mt. Kinubari in 1953. According to the people who found these bowls, there was a stone slab below the surface soil, under which a big bowl was placed upside down. Inside the big bowl, two small bowls were laid upside down in a stack. No other accompanying articles were found. It is regrettable that the conditions of excavation and a detailed background of the remnants are not clear.
The big bowl is a so-called Tenryuji celadon and entirely coated with yellow-green glaze. There is a fret pattern inside the brim, a chrysanthemum pattern in the center of the bottom and a lotus petal pattern that links these two patterns and divides the bowl into eight sections. Each of the eight sections has a pattern of peony, lotus, chrysanthemum or camellia with a branch. The external surface has a wave-like pattern around the brim, below which is an arabesque design with lotus petals around the base. This is a bowl that was baked in the Ryusenyo kiln in China during the Yuan period (fourteenth century). Big bowls like this one are very rare.
The smaller bowls found under the big bowl are so-called Kinuta celadon (celadon of the highest quality). They are almost the same in size: 22.4cm and 22.5cm in diameter and 10.1cm and 10.2cm in height. A shinogi (a cut made diagonally in order to form a peak) lotus petal pattern, a pattern that has a peak in the center of a lotus petal, is engraved on the external surface. These are items that were baked in the Ryusenyo kiln during the Southern Song period (thirteenth century).
Although these two types of bowls were buried together, it is unsure if they were imported at the same time. It is only in Kamakura that such high quality pottery could be excavated in a complete form.