Five porcelain bowls in the shape of fish
From Arita, Japan
Edo period, AD 1750-1790s
Porcelain with underglaze blue
Japan has always worked on a decimal system and even today, Japanese sets of dishes come in fives. A traditional Japanese meal consists of a number of small helpings of different foods usually served together on individual trays or small lacquered tables. Dishes and bowls are often chosen to suit the food. Fish is served raw or cooked in a number of different ways and fish-shaped bowls and dishes are very popular. Beautifully curled shapes occur for shellfish.
The five bowls in this set are individually made and painted in underglaze blue.
Asia JA 1997.1-21.164
Gift of Mr. Akihiko Shibata