Ōtagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875)


Issō (active 19th c.)

Tea Bowl with Incised Poem

Inv. Nr. #19.032
Date Late Edo/ Early Meiji period, 1865-1875
Material Glazed stoneware with incised poem
Dimensions H 7,1 x Diam. 12,5 cm

Comes with fitted wooden box, inscribed, signed and sealed by Issō and inscribed, painted and signed by Ōtagaki Rengetsu

Rare, well documented collaboration tea bowl by 19th century poet nun Ōtagaki Rengetsu and Kyōto potter Issō. The tea bowl has been hand-modeled by Issō. The leather hard bowl was then incised by Rengetsu with one of her own poems and glazed afterwards. The tea bowl comes with the old original, fitted wooden box, which has been inscribed, signed (Rengetsu and Issō) and sealed (only Issō). Rengestu also wrote her poem inside the box's lid and added a small painting of a chrysanthemum flower that is floating on water - an image referring to the poem in her fluid, elegant handwriting:


A pure name

flows throughout the world


as the Japanese spirit and

water flowing under chrysanthemums.    








A quite similar collaboration tea bowl of Issō and Rengetsu has been published in the National Gallery of Australia's exhibition catalog Black Robe, White Mist: Art of the Japanese Buddhist Nun Rengetsu, National Gallery of Australia (2007), p. 62.


The inscription by Issō reads: Rengetsu chawan, heian Issō zukuri ('Rengetsu tea bowl, made by Kyōto [potter] Issō').



Tokyo National Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Harvard Art Museum, National Gallery of Australia, Miho Museum, LACMA Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many more...