Ōtagaki Rengetsu is possibly the most famous female poet of 19th Century and known for her excellent skills in calligraphy and pottery. It was after the death of her stepfather in 1832, when Rengetsu began to make her extraordinary pottery, which she usually inscribed with her own waka (31-syllable classical poem) and sold to support herself. With her unique combination of pottery, calligraphy and poetry, Rengetsu gained already large recognition during her lifetime far beyond the borders of Kyōto and her pottery style was named Rengetsu-yaki (Rengetsu pottery).
By inspiring many artists with her works, some potter friends soon began to reproduce her works under her guidance. Such well-known potters are for example Issō (dates unknown) and Kuroda Kōryō (1823-1895?). This cream white glazed flower vase of irregular style with iron-brown inscription of a Rengetsu poem, however, can be possibly attributed to her friendly potter Takahashi Dōhachi III (1811-1879). It is documented that Dōhachi III, coming from an important lineage of Kiyomizu potters, worked with the same materials. Also, the style of calligraphy is similar to his known Rengetsu works. The vase is made with a high artistic level, however, there is not stamp or signature indicating its maker.
The inscribed Rengetsu poem has been published in 1870 in her first poem anthology Ama no karumo, where it can be found under number 116 as opener of the autumn chapter:
In the morning breeze
a riverbank willow
scatters its leaves
into the flowing waters —
so autumn begins...