Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Vietnamese Blue and White Ware

The #Chinese #ceramics industry was not the only one using cobalt underglaze.
Certainly they were the first to use cobalt and NOT in a lead based glaze but other nations soon adapted to using it as well.

The #Vietnamese potters tended to use a darker more indigo underglaze and smaller shapes. Its a lesser known ware possibly because the export trade peaked and then dropped off during the 16th and 17th centuries as the Vietnamese like the Japanese exploited the disruptions to trade caused by conflicts between a failing Ming dynasty and the spread southwards of the Manchus.

Plus the introduction of polychrome wares and the European ceramics industry learning to adapt white EW clays to create their own wares reduced demand.

Here's some pictures to enjoy. The underglaze pigments seem a little coarser but the brushwork is often delightly fluid.

The pieces I have shown here actually date back to the 15th century.

This final image although looking more "chinese" is indeed Vietnamese!

Some sites  use the word Annamese rather than Vietnamese.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Translating Haiku the word break problem

Translating #Haiku
the word break problem

An example from  #Chiyo

( this applies to other #japanesepoetry too! #tanka #waka )

So you have in front of you a copy of the #Japanese text in #kana or a mixture of kana and #kanji and maybe # romaji too ?
And you have a fair idea of what it means but you go to check the exact verb form being used to add to the notes for readers and you can't find the verb form of particle or whatever?

Is it your poor knowledge of Japanese or is it just possible some editor combined two words or split up a word when they should not have?
Plus Japanese word play giving something two meanings ...

Here's an example ... a well known haiku by #Chiyo (though I have come across one writer who claims the poem pre exists her  ... however as its a well known poem)

I'm not disputing the usual translations just pointing out a couple of features

the haiku in romaji

shibu karo ka
shiranedo kaki no

Now I've seen several texts giving the first line as shibu karo ka but what if its
shibukaro ka ? A Verb? Most texts don't bother to explain this is a volitional form ... she's saying it is possible that an experience will be bitter but she does not ... shiranedo know  and  the use of the shiranedo form heightens this uncertianity!

Though shiranedo possibly should be printed shirane + do ?

Do is described by McCullough in her Bungo Manual as a concessive conjunctive particle that could be translated as even though or but

So perhaps the romaji text should be shibukaro ka shirane do hatsuchigiri ?

Whatever your choice but bear in mind while reading this haiku that there's both doubt and irony being expressed

Next time on Technozi Kaki Persimmons the first of which are appearing in Sydney's fruit stores !

Whether karo and do should be printed with a word break or as part of the verb in romaji knowing even a little bungo helps ?

Do try to get a cop of McCulloughs book if you can!

Ten Thousand Blessings to the person who gifted this to me a few years back!

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Monday, 16 March 2015

A blue and white mystery!

Cobalt Blue stains or underglaze or slip over a white clay body or white slip is probably one of the most revered innovations created by Chinese artists AND OTHER ASIAN ceramicists.

However its a @##$$%@# to evaluate as an antique cos there's ware created for the Imperial court and export ware to SE Asia and export ware to Europe and then the Europeans started copying it.

The Viets and Koreans and Japanese also fell in love with making it!

OH and to complicate things they all starting copying each other and making replicas of older works or reusing or reviving the same  decorative themes as popular taste swayed back and forth between monochrome and polychrome wares.

Can you spot the difference and the place of origin of these three pieces?

Each one is from a different country and time?

I suspect some of you will identify the first pair of vases but the other two?

Now you want to know where all three are from?

I'll post the answers if I get at least 10 comments likes and shares !