Tsuru Ishizara


Seto-ware plate with crane design
Edo period, 18-19th century
D: 26.7cm – H: 5cm

Ishizara (literally “stone plate”) were plates for daily use. They were mass produced during the Edo period, especially in the 18th-19th century. With the creation of the same pattern over and over again, the craftsman’s repeated brush movement became freer with experience. Yanagi Muneyoshi (or Sōetsu), a Japanese philosopher and founder of the Mingei movement in Japan in the late 1920s and 1930s, emphasized: “Ishizara is unrivalled in painting. No other Japanese paintings of ceramics are more beautiful” This plate have a crane design (tsuru), which is auspicious for longevity in Japan, and is made of iron under a glaze. The craftsmen’s unhesitating touch is exquisite.