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Umanome (Horse Eyes) Blue Rice Bowl, Large

Umanome is a traditional Japanese pottery motif widely used from the late Edo period (around 1780) to the early Meiji period (around 1870). The pattern was convenient to decorate-mass produced tableware quickly with continuous brushstrokes.

Umanome can be translated “horse eyes” in Japanese. The individual swirls resemble a horse's eye, but no one exactly knows why the pattern came to known as umanome.

As the popularity of antique umanome pattern tableware has risen recently in Japan, many replicas (probably molded and machine printed) have entered the market. However, Seto Hongyo Gama still produces the tableware the way they used to be made hundreds of years ago. The rice bowl is as authentic now as it was then.

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Product Description


Umanome is a traditional Japanese pottery motif widely used from the late Edo period (around 1780) to the early Meiji period (around 1870). The pattern was convenient to decorate-mass produced tableware quickly with continuous brushstrokes.

Umanome can be translated “horse eyes” in Japanese. The individual swirls resemble a horse’s eye, but no one exactly knows why the pattern came to known as umanome.

As the popularity of antique umanome pattern tableware has risen recently in Japan, many replicas (probably molded and machine printed) have entered the market. However, Seto Hongyo Gama still produces the tableware the way they used to be made hundreds of years ago. The rice bowl is as authentic now as it was then.

The Japanese say that good earthenware “grows.” This means that by use and over time brand new earthenware changes color gradually. This rice bowl thus becomes a legacy you can “grow” and pass down to later generations.

Comparison of brand-new and antique umanome plates.

Comparison of brand-new and old umanome plates.

The photograph on the right shows a brand new and an antique umanome plate. The standing shiny plate is unused, and the matte one placed flat on the table is an antique. Both of the plates, as well as this rice bowl, were made at Seto Hongyo Gama.

Read more about Seto Hongy Gama, a traditional potters’ workshop.

The umanome bowl’s dynamic pattern gives it a masculine appearance. Still, the geometric umanome pattern looks sophisticated and contemporary.

This rice bowl has a fine cracking pattern, called kannyu in Japanese. Kannyu is created by a different contraction rate between the clay and glaze as the pottery cools after being fired. In Japan, Kannyu is intentionally made as a visual pattern, and doesn’t affect the integrity of the pottery’s structure.

A umanome rice bowl is microwavable, and dishwasher safe.

 

Diameter: 5-1/8″
Height: 2-1/2″
Weight: 10.7 oz

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Additional Information

Weight 42 oz
Dimensions 6 x 6 x 4 in

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