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A JAPANESE SHOKI-IMARI DISH EDO PERIOD, C.1630-40 The well decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with a small prancing hare beneath a crescent moon, with a double ring to the rim and the surface speckled with sand or grit, raised on a circular unglazed foot, 13.4cm. See the British Museum, access. no.1959,0418.1 for a comparable Shoki-Imari dish with an added inscription reading 'Spring White Hare' to the side. Also, see R S Jenyns, Japanese Porcelain, pl.6B for a comparable piece. The dish is an example of early porcelain produced at the Tengudani kiln in Arita. The hare and moon were created with paper stencils and then covered with splashed ink, fukizumi. The outline was drawn afterwards in cobalt blue. The original design on which this dish is modelled is Chinese; the hare is often represented pounding the elixir of life and in Chinese the words for 'full moon' and 'rice cake' have the same sound.

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