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Incense container with chrysanthemum design
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: late 19th century
Historical Period: Meiji period (1868-1912)
Materials: Lacquered wood
Dimensions: H. 4 1/4 in x W. 3 1/8 in x D. 13/16 in, H. 11.0 cm x W. 8.0 cm x D. 2.3 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Decorative Arts
Object Number: B69M24
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The sensory chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum blossoms in autumnal shades of gold and red cover the exterior of this small lacquer box. In addition to visual delight, the flowers offer tactile pleasure. The chrysanthemums are raised in relief so that one can feel the delineation of each petal. Inside the box are four additional boxes that feature designs of flowers and plants, many of which—such as Chinese bellflower and bush clover—are similarly associated with the autumn season. The boxes are shaped like books of texts for Noh plays, and titles of various plays are on their covers.

This container was part of the paraphernalia used in the incense ceremony (kodo, “way of fragrance”); each of its four boxes held incense. The appreciation of incense became a popular activity in Japan around the fifteenth century. Much like the tea ceremony and flower arranging (ikebana), it was practiced to cultivate the participant’s aesthetic and spiritual senses.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Flower Power", Asian Art Museum, 6/23/2017-10/1/2017
Label:

The sensory chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum blossoms in autumnal shades of gold and red cover the exterior of this small lacquer box. In addition to visual delight, the flowers offer tactile pleasure. The chrysanthemums are raised in relief so that one can feel the delineation of each petal. Inside the box are four additional boxes that feature designs of flowers and plants, many of which—such as Chinese bellflower and bush clover—are similarly associated with the autumn season. The boxes are shaped like books of texts for Noh plays, and titles of various plays are on their covers.

This container was part of the paraphernalia used in the incense ceremony (kodo, “way of fragrance”); each of its four boxes held incense. The appreciation of incense became a popular activity in Japan around the fifteenth century. Much like the tea ceremony and flower arranging (ikebana), it was practiced to cultivate the participant’s aesthetic and spiritual senses.


Exhibition History: "Flower Power", Asian Art Museum, 6/23/2017-10/1/2017