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Square Serving Bowl


Awata ware


Edo period (1615-1868)-Meiji period (1868-1912)


Square Serving Bowl


19th c.


Stoneware, painted decoration in underglaze brown and blue, crackled glaze


9.3 x 7.5 x 6.2 cm


Adaline Van Horne Bequest, inv. 1944.Dp.35


Archeology and World Cultures

A beautiful decoration of susuki grass (Japanese pampas grass) in underglaze iron brown and cobalt blue covers the surface of this serving bowl. Susuki grass is considered one of the seven grasses of autumn, and is so designated in Japan’s oldest native poetry collection, the eighth century Manyōshū (“Collection of Myriad Leaves”). It is a ritual offering to the moon spirit at Tsukimi (the full moon viewing festival), which is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. The reduced motif of the grass was first used on ceramics by Ogata Kenzan in the early eighteenth century, when it was already a universally accepted symbol for autumn.

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