Kutani Porcelain_“Banreki Gosai Ryu”
Title: Wish to be the One
“as if they are dancing and congratulating the prosperity”
The old kilns arose around the beginning of the Edo period must be connected to Arita ware, after all. Arita ware, which is the first white ceramic produced in Japan established around 1615, was developed after colorful Chinese ceramic wares called Keitoku-chin. The beautiful and precise works were loved by the domain leaders, spread all around Japan, and other artisans started to learn this kind of wares.
Old Kutani ware was established in that way, too. The brilliant color, circular patterns, motives well represent the style. Also, the name Banreki-gosai is for a type of potteries baked in China which are colored in five different colors and were popular in Min dynasty, especially Banreki period (1573 to 1620).
As the name suggest, the main motif of this plate is the dragon in the center. Dragons are thought to be an attribute of emperors in China, and there had been lots of “Banreki Gosai Ryu” plates and vases baked for celebrating such people. One at the Tokyo national museum also depicts a blue dragon with a phoenix in details.
The dragon on this plate is clearly framed by a circle in vivid blue, which must be the basic color of white porcelain, suggesting this dragon is special. On the edges, two phoenixes, which often appear alongside a dragon, are showing their beautiful long tails and two flowers are blooming, as if they are dancing and congratulating the prosperity for the dragon.
Dragon is a motif of something special, strongest, and greatest. This one, with such an innocent face, will protect you with its sharp nails and guard you to be the only one.