A red lacquered shallow bowl, or nurizarawan, featuring three golden turtles. This bowl was collected by Commodore Matthew C. Perry during his historic Japan Expedition (1853-1854) that opened Japan to the western world and established a lasting diplomatic, economic and cultural relationship between two Pacific Rim nations. Artifacts from Perry's Japan Expedition would become some of the founding objects of the Smithsonian Institution's anthropology collections.
Recataloged as ethnology #4189 in the 1950's. later cancelled. Cancelled number, in brackets, remains on object.from card: "same as cat. no. 156: red lacquered thin wooden bowl painted with 3 turtles in gold."
See Chang-Su Houchins. 1995. Artifacts of Diplomacy: Smithsonian Collections from Commodore Matthew Perry's Japan Expedition (1853-1854). Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, Number 37. P 18. Houchins indicates there that E156, E157, and E158 nest together to form a set.