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  • Place of origin:

    Mashiko (made)

  • Date:

    1985 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shimaoka Tatsuzo, born 1919 - died 2007 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stoneware with underglaze iron painting over rope-impressed and slip-filled ground

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 23, shelf 8

This large dish demonstrates to good effect the remarkable skill in rope-impressed decoration that Shimaoka has developed over the years. He has combined three different kinds of patterning with the use of white slip - which fills the rope indentations - and boldly calligraphic underglaze iron painting. As the leading student of Hamada Shoji (1894-1978), Shimaoka is widely regarded as Japan's foremost potter of the Folk Craft (Mingei) Movement. His fascination with rope-impressed decoration is partly due to the fact that his father was a rope-maker. It can also be explained by the proximity to Mashiko, where he lives and works, of numerous archaeological sites dating from the Jomon period (10,500-300 BC), where earthenwares decorated with a rich variety of rope-impressed designs have been found.

Physical description

In this dish where the impressed marks are filled in with white slip, the potter has combined three different patterns with leaf like splashes of underglaze iron painting to give a remarkable feeling of vitality to what is an extremely large and challenging pot.

Place of Origin

Mashiko (made)


1985 (made)


Shimaoka Tatsuzo, born 1919 - died 2007 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Stoneware with underglaze iron painting over rope-impressed and slip-filled ground

Marks and inscriptions

Maker's mark; on base; impressed


Diameter: 57.4 cm

Object history note


Descriptive line

Dish, Shimaoka Tatsuzo, Mashiko, Japan, 1985

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Faulker, Rupert Japanese Studio Crafts: Tradition and the Avant-Garde, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1995, plate no. 2
Faulker, Rupert 'Contemporary Japanese Ceramics in the V&A' in Orientations, Vol. 17, No. 12; December 1986, p.32, fig 1.
Earle, Joe, ed. Japanese art and design London: V&A Publishing, 2009, fig.201, p. 210.

Production Note

Biographical reference: 'Japanese Ceramics Today' V & A (1983), p.128: Gisela Jahn and Anette Petersen-Brandhorst, 'Erde und Feuer', Deutsches Museum (Munich, 1984), pp.229-231


Stoneware; Slip


Underglazing; Rope-impressed


20thC_load; Stoneware; Ceramics


East Asia Collection

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