Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration and lacquer lid
Incised on base: "Mitsuyuki"
Inscribed on side of box: "RanyÛ hakubatsu hira mizusasbi" (Blue glaze white resist flat water container) signed: "Mitsuyuki" and sealed "MItsuyuki"
H. 12.1 cm (4 3/4 in.); diam. 26.0 cm (10 1/4 in.)
Restricted gift of Louise Lutz
Extended information about this artwork
Baekeland, Frederick, and Robert Moes, et al. Modern Japanese Ceramics in American Collections. NY: Japan Society 1993. 206p (120 entries)
SOC8557, 10/18/1991 - Japan Society Gallery, New York, NY, for exhibit, “Modern Japanese Studio Ceramics in American Collections”, 12/9/1993 - 2/6/1994 and possible tour to New Orleans, 3/5 - 5/24/94 and Honolulu, 7/14 - 8/23/94.
City and Country: Views of Urban and Rural Japan
In the first half of the 20th century, Japan’s cities were developing at an astounding rate. The change was particularly noticeable in Tokyo, where the Ginza district bustled with shoppers and Shinjuku was home to fashionable cafés. The new urban landscape became a favorite subject for print artists such as Oda Kazuma (1882–1956) and Kasamatsu Shirô (1898–1991), who portrayed the crowded streets and nighttime entertainments.
At the same time, the fast urbanization process sparked nostalgia for the scenery of the countryside and the hometowns (furusato) of the mind’s eye. In particular, many felt that foreign collectors would not buy prints featuring the modern city; rather, they would prefer a more traditional and serene vision of Japan. As a result, artists such as Kawase Hasui (1883–1957) and Yoshida Hiroshi (1876–1950) produced idealized visions of rural Japan. The publisher Watanabe Shôzaburô (1885–1962), with whom these artists worked, was an amateur art historian and entrepreneur whose strategy was to produce prints that would appeal to Western collectors. This proved successful, and Watanabe’s business was thriving not long after the loss of his shop and the blocks and prints within during the Great Kantô Earthquake of 1923.
Works ranging in date from the 1910s to the 1950s that depict both the city and country are on display in this exhibition. Additionally, recently acquired prints by Hiratsuka Un’ichi (1895–1997) given by Theodore and Luann Van Zelst are a special feature of the installation. (Janice Katz 2011)
Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .