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Up for sale is this "Raku 11th Keinyu (1817-1902) Antique kuro-raku tea bowl #4053" If you have any questions please contact us before buy it. No reserve.
- width: approx. 12.5cm (4 59⁄64in)
- height: approx. 8cm (3 5⁄32in)
- weight: 333g (gross 536g)
- writing on the box: aka-raku tea bowl made by Ryonyu ※I bought this bowl as Ryonyu bowl. However, I realize that a bottom mark looks like Keinyu's and this is not aka-raku bowl but kura-raku bowl. Maybe the pre-owner attached a wrong box.
The Eleventh Raku - Keinyu (1817-1902)
Born as the third son of Naohachi Ogawa, a sake brewer from Tamba Province, in what is present-day Kokubu, Chitose-cho in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture. He first went by the name Sokichi, and he was later renamed Yoshitsura. At the age of 11, he was adopted by Tannyu X, later taking Tannyu's daughter Myokoku as his wife. At the age of 29, he succeeded Tannyu as patriarch of the family, taking the name Kichizaemon. At the age of 55 he went into retirement, and passed away at 86. His period as an active ceramicist was second only to Ryonyu IX. He was also interested in poetry, calligraphy and, above all, was a passionate devotee of tea ceremony. Rokurokusai, the 11th headmaster of the Omotesenke school, bestowed upon him the highest title of "kaiden." Keinyu lived in an era of change as the Edo Period gave way to the Meiji Era, when the Shogunate restored imperial rule. This was a painful time, where traditional culture such as tea ceremony went into decline, buffeted by the Europeanization policies of the new regime during the so-called Rokumeikan era. Even the head of the school was forced to rely on the support of a wealthy regional patron. Rokurokusai himself spent a significant period of time with wealthy patrons, first in Hagi then in Bizen, etc., where he spread tea ceremony into the regions. Keinyu joined Rokurokusai in Hagi, and during their time staying there the former assisted the latter. Keinyu also created works at Hagi-ware kilns. His works from this era include Hagi bowls, incense containers and pitchers. At the age of 38, a blaze that began in the Kyoto Palace destroyed all but one of the Raku-ware storehouses. Nevertheless, Keinyu dealt with these many misfortunes with great fortitude. He went on to create a wide array of works, ranging from bowls to plates and pots, as well as utensils for kaiseki, tea-ceremony dishes, and tea ceremony. This cemented him as one of the great masters alongside Donyu and Ryonyu. An admirer of the creativity of these two masters, Keinyu's style is one of consummate balance and exquisite decorations created with spatulas. On the whole, many of Keinyu's bowls are delicate and compact, some of which are amongst the smallest works of all generations. This is no doubt a reflection of the era, which was far removed from the opulent heyday of tea ceremony. However, this is also an expression of Keinyu's personal approach to the spirit of tea ceremony, which he diligently performed in his own home. At times he tended toward sweeping grandeur, with a powerful style; at other times his style shifted toward a refined, restrained elegance. Throughout his life, he regularly changed his seal, and his works can be loosely divided between these periods. From when he took over the Raku school at the age of 29 until he faced the great fire at age 38, he used a spiderweb seal (initial seal) which was penned by Daiko Soken of Daitoku Temple. Subsequently, from the age of 38 until he retired at 55, he used a seal called Dong Qichang (middle seal). Keinyu was well versed in calligraphy and was a great admirer of the works of Dong Qichang. From the age of 55 until his death at 86, he used the Shiroraku seal (retirement seal). Other seals he used include "Tenka-ichi," a seal commemorating the 250th anniversary of the passing of Jokei, a seal from Nishi-honganji Temple's Rozan-ware called "Untei," and a Raku seal in cursive font (Kishu official seal). His representative works include black Raku bowls named "Irifune" and "Taiku," a Shiroraku bowl named "Shiohi" and a large goose-shaped incense bowl.
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