Blue: Celadon Standing Ladle Holder (Ao: Seiji shaku tate), from the series Five Colors of Tea Utensils (Chaki goshiki)\r\n Artist: Kubo Shunman (Japanese, 1757–1820)

ca. 1818

Asian Art

On view, 4th floor, Special Exhibitions

窪俊満 「茶器五色 青 せい磁杓多て」 江戸時代

Some of Kubo Shunman’s prints, including this one and two others nearby, bear the seal “Shō sei,” or “made at Atelier Shō” (Shō being one of Shunman’s art names). It is believed that Shunman was engaged in studio production of surimono—that is, he designed the images, engraved the woodblocks, and probably hand-printed the final print as well. The dominant item in this print is a shakutate—a container for a long-handled fresh-water scoop for the tea ceremony—which is decorated with a pair of carp. The first poem states that it is a tea connoisseur’s dream to possess a “carp-eared” water-scoop holder like this. The third poem evokes the most popular tale associated with this water-scoop holder, when a carp successfully climbs up a rapid stream and becomes a flying dragon.


Surimono, shikishi-ban; polychrome woodblock print with brass pigment and gauffrage


sheet: 8 × 6 7/8 in. (20.3 × 17.5 cm)

Credit Line

Promised gift of Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, B.A. 1970

Loan number



Edo period (1615–1868)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Joan B. Mirviss (dealer), New York; sold to Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, Koenigstein im Taunus, Germany, 2012 (on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2017–present)
  • Sadako Ohki and Adam Haliburton, The Private World of Surimono: Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 192–94, no. 52, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

color woodcuts, surimono


Poem 1: Minezumi aratame Yūfūsha Umezuna:\r\n\r\nIt must be the reward\r\nfor good karma, \r\nthis carp-eared celadon--\r\na family treasure,\r\nand a tea lover's dream.\r\n\r\nPoem 2: Eirakutei Tomozuru:\r\n\r\nUnlidded, the clamshell \r\nsends forth the sun \r\nand an incense without flame, \r\nas a crane's feather duster dances, \r\nswept up in the spring.\r\n\r\n\r\nPoem 3:Garyōen:\r\n\r\n"Will I rise and become a dragon\r\nresiding in the clouds, \r\nor dwelling in the temple?" \r\nasks the auricle carp, \r\nclimbing the cascade.\r\n\r\nAH 2/9/2018; the poems 1 & 2 revised 7-22-18\r\n\r\n茶器五色尚製 Five Colors of Tea Utencils by Shou (Shunman)\r\n\r\n青 Blue\r\n\r\nせい磁杓多て Seiji shaku tate (Celadon Standing Ladle Holder)\r\n\r\nPoem 1: 峯住改雄風舎梅綱 Minezumi aratame Yūfūsha Umezuna \r\n\r\n茶を古のむ 人の果報や 是奈らん かさる青磁の 鯉の耳多ぶ\r\n\r\ncha wo konomu/ hito no kahō ya/ kore naran/ kazaru seiji no/ koi no mimi tabu\r\n\r\n\r\nPoem 2: 永楽亭友鶴 Eirakutei Tomozuru\r\n\r\n蛤の ふ多三*か多奈る 空多きに 立舞ふはるの 鶴の羽箒\r\n\r\nhamaguri no/ futa mi* gata naru/ karadaki ni/ tachi mau haru no/ tsuru no habōki\r\n\r\n*Futa means lids of containers, and there is a pun here. Futami ga ura is a famous bay near Ise, Mie prefecture famous for watching the sun rise\r\n. \r\n\r\nPoem 3: 臥竜園 Garyōen\r\n\r\n瀧つせ*を のほる鯉耳 出世し天 飛龍とやい者ん 天龍寺とやい者ん\r\n\r\ntakitsuse wo/ noboru koi mimi/ shusse shite/ hiryū to ya iwan/ tenryūji to ya iwan\r\n\r\n\r\n*瀧つ瀬=急流、たきつせ 早しにかかる枕詞\r\n\r\n\r\n


Shō sei (尚製 after the series title in red)

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