Tea bowl with Hanawa-chigai design, overglaze enamels

Nonomura NinseiEdo period, latter half of 17th century

Suntory Museum of Art

Suntory Museum of Art
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Ninsei has applied his distinctive black glaze over a white glaze. A band of silver encircles the rim. The midsection carries the shippo-tsunagi design, eight floral shippo (interlocking circles) in alternating colors: brown, blue, and green. The lower area is decorated with stylized lotus petals. The foot is left unglazed and has the “Ninsei” seal impressed inside. The note on the inner box, said to be in the hand of the tea master Kanamori Sowa, who gave Ninsei valuable guidance in his work, states that this is a hana wachigai chawan or tea bowl with flowers and interlocking circles. The origins of the term shippo-tsunagi (linked seven treasures) are unclear; one theory is that the shiho in shiho wachigai (linked circles of the four directions) may have been corrupted to shippo. Shiho wachigai is an auspicious motif meaning development in the four directions, and adding weaning of treasure may have made it even more propitious.


  • Title: Tea bowl with Hanawa-chigai design, overglaze enamels
  • Date Created: Edo period, latter half of 17th century
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Sculptor: Nonomura Ninsei
  • Physical Dimensions: w127 x h83 cm
  • Object Width (English): 11.7 cm~12.7 cm (Diameter of mouth) / 4.5 cm (Diameter of foot)
  • Object Title (Japanese): 色絵花輪違文茶碗
  • Object Height (English): 8.3 cm
  • Object Date (English): Edo period, latter half of 17th century
  • Category (Japanese): 陶磁器
  • Artist Name (Japanese): 野々村仁清
  • Type: Ceramics
  • Rights: Suntory Museum of Art, Suntory Museum of Art

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