Kinkai teabowl | Hagi ware
He was a passionate devotee of the tea ceremony. He was a disciple of Sen Rikyu (1522-1591). He shared his masters' admiration for provincial Korean wares. And he was Daimyo of the Satsuma domain – Shimazu Yoshihiro (1535-1619).
When Yoshihiro happened to be engaged in military affairs on Korean battlefields, from which he would return as one of the celebrated winners in 1598, he took the opportunity to take along a number of Koreans, some say more than seventy. This was an unfriendly take-over but a substantial acquisition of external knowledge. And it was needed to start the production of Satsuma wares on Kyushu. One of those Koreans was Kim Hai (1569-1621), also known by the Japanese pronunciation of his name: Kinkai. His work was of outstanding quality and greatly pleased the Daimyo, who made the potter a samurai and changed his name to Hoshiyama Chuji. His descendants continued to work until the end end of the Edo period, mid-19th century.
The most typical features of the Korean style Kinkai wares are the marks scratched into the wet glaze on the outside of the bowl and the rather high split foot. These features apparent on this bowl made one of the previous owners write "Korean Kinkai tea bow" (Korai Kinkai Chawan) on the box. The fact that the bowl was produced in Hagi, another kiln founded by Korean potters is not mentioned in the inscription.
Kinkai teabowl, Hagi ware
18th century (Edo Period)
Height: 8.8 cm (3½ in.)
Diameter: 12.5 cm (5 in.)
Wooden box with inscription