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Catalog Data

Fushimi Koemon  Search this
Earthenware with cold pigments and soot
H x W x D: 15.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm (6 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in)
Fushimi ware
Fushimi, Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture, Japan
19th century
Edo period
Fushimi doll (Fushimi ningyo [Jap]) Hotei standing. Hollow.
Clay: earthenware, shaped in mold.
Glaze: flesh - reddish-buff and brown; remainder - dark browns and black. (soot deposits).
Incised on the back of this figure is the name "Tofukuji Monzen Koemon [Jap]" The inscription is barely legible and, moreover, it appears to be incised through the soot that blackens much of the surface of the figure, so it may be spurious. However, that name links this figure to a pair of figures attributed to Koemon (F1903.222-223) as well as to a glazed ceramic "copy" of a Fushimi Otafuku doll (F1905.249). Ikaruga Koemon [Jap], according to oral tradition, moved to the village of Fukakusa, near Fushimi, after the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and began the production of Fushimi votive dolls. Spurious inscriptions of his name appear frequently on old Fushimi dolls. In fact, earthenware was being made in the Fushimi area (for ritual use in the shrine) long before 1600, and the production of molded votive images would appear to be a natural offshoot of the older activity. Such images served as souvenirs (miyage [Jap], local products") for the pilgrims who thronged to the shrine on auspicious days. Fushimi dolls are mentioned in printed books of 1702 and 1730, making them perhaps the oldest documented images of this sort. They exerted an influence on the production of such images ("clay dolls," tsuchi ningyo [Jap]) throughout Japan.
To 1899
S. Eida, to 1899 [1]
From 1899 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from S. Eida in 1899 [2]
From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]
[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 253, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
[2] See note 1.
[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Exhibition History:
Kyoto Ceramics (November 9, 1984 to April 25, 1985)
Previous custodian or owner:
S. Eida (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
Fushimi ware  Search this
Edo period (1615 - 1868)  Search this
Hotei  Search this
Japan  Search this
earthenware  Search this
Japanese Art  Search this
Charles Lang Freer collection  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
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Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery