I Mei Honda Well
Great Name National Treasure
Daitokuji Kohoan (Daitokuji Kohoan)
Height: 9.1 cm
Bore diameter: 15.3-15.5cm
Outer diameter of shoulder stand: 5.2-5.5 cm
Height: 1.5 – 1.7 cm
This is a well-known bowl that ranks at the head of a well. In the Keicho era, it was owned by Takeda Kizaemon, a merchant in Osaka, and so it is called Kizaemon Ido.
The clay is rough and sandy, covered with a thick semi-permeable glaze with rough penetrations over the entire surface. Generally fired in an oxidizing flame, it has a loquat color inside and out, with a slight bluish tinge in some areas. It is a heavy and imposing tea bowl with a thick mouth, a richly stretched body, and a sturdy base, and its appearance is unparalleled in the world.
Three thick rokuro (a kind of iron spinning wheel) finger stripes go around the waist, and both the inner and outer pedestals are made of bamboo joints, as is commonly referred to. Among the many wells, there is no other teabowl with such a deep charm on the pedestal as Kizaemon’s. This is called “Umehana-hada (plum blossom skin). The reason for the kairagi, as it is commonly called, is that the clay is scraped off with a spatula to make the base rougher, but it should also be understood that in Korea, shellfish were used as a medium, and the strong scum of the shellfish caused the glaze to shrink, resulting in the kairagi. Of course, depending on the heat level, if the glaze is fired too strongly, the kairagi will melt and run off. In the case of Kizaemon wells, the shrinkage is particularly severe, with the underside of the well bottom and other areas shrinking like polka dots, and the half-surface of the cut portion of the elevated plateau, which is called “kiri-wari,” exposing the bare metal. Some people once suggested that the Kizaemon well was glazed, then the glaze was scraped off the sides of the elevation, and then the half surface of the elevation was glazed thickly again, but I believe this to be incorrect. There is no way that such a well, which is originally a company’s miscellaneous vessels, would be made in Joseon with such a lot of effort, so to speak, to be underglazed. The glaze was applied so thickly that the shell was particularly strong, and the glaze peeled off on half the surface, which should be seen as a view of the plateau. On the outside, there is an unglazed area, called a fire gap. There is also an area called “Hittsuki,” where the rim of the lower bowl has burned into the body because it was packed in the kiln in several layers, and the marks where this was rubbed off have been made into the shape of a fish with lacquer.
There are also some small cracks on the mouth rim that have been repaired with lacquer, and there are several short vertical cracks, but there are no noticeable cracks or breaks, and for a well whose clay is fragile and prone to cracks, it has been well preserved.
The interior is loquat-colored, with a deep prospect, a sharply defined center with a glaze drip in the middle. There are quite a few wells that have a layer of firing marks on the inner surface, but Kizaemon does not have such marks. Both in Hosokawa and Kaga, the three wells of Lord Fumai are said to be characterized by the lack of eyes on the inner surface.
Inner box, black lacquered, gold-finish lettering on the cover: “In the possession of Honda Notomori Tadayoshi, Funakoshi Iyomori, with an accompanying note, Itochawan.
Inside box, paulownia wood, cover front: “Korai Ido, Honda
The back of the lid is inscribed by Araki Issai: “In the possession of Notomori Honda, a well tea bowl with the name of Kizaemon from the Keicho period, which is said to be from the well of the late Kizaemon Funakoshi Iyomori.
It became the collection of Matsudaira Fumai around An’ei period, but in the New Year of Bunsei 5, Shorakuin, the wife of Matsudaira Fumai, presented it to the Kohoan of Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto.