A Gwailo's View of Han Zi !
A Blog featuring my experiments with Han Zi and digital typographic art and articles on Chinese derived characters. Also some articles on Chinese characters in general and their use of multiple Asian languages.
There are two things many people are thinking about when thinking of #Japan lately ... no the debate about the Ghost in the Shell casting is not one of them for me ... I'm thinking the top two are the #SAKURA SEASON and the recent #EARTHQUAKES in #Kyushu.
Copyright Julie Vaux 2016
An observation about the CHEN character used for the Phonetic.
Remember one of its names was Small Dragon and took a look at the seal script form if you have a reference book.
Earth Dragons who might cause tremors were regarded as lesser than celestial dragons.
You've probably seen one of these or something very similar in any store that sells #Chinese #Ceramics. There are a lot of modern copies of this #Ming #Fahua garden stool. Hundreds. Thousands. BUT That testifies to its success as industrial design.
Once upon a time this was an innovation. Someone had the splendid idea of combining the new turquoise and indigo mid-range glazes with a shape normally used with bamboo or saw an upturned barrel or storage container being used as a stool or maybe they lived in or visited a high rain fall subtropical region and were fed up with the garden furniture wood or bamboo turning green with mould or drying and splitting?
Its an easy shape to create and copy on a large scale by hand or mold.
Its a simple yet elegant contrast of colors.
There's ornament to catch the customers eyes.
Centuries later these are still being made and sold because they are good design.
They may not be porcelain famille verte or wucai Qing court vessels but they are useful surprisingly sturdy and have popular appeal
I also suspect some one was sick of garden furniture in lighter materials being overturned or damaged in storms and having to be dragged in and out of storage.
True there are some modern copies that are obviously mass produced and not the same high quality but this simple design really should be used as a textbook example in design texts, industrial or ceramic!
Photos and Museum displays of Netsuke and Inro don't always show the whole set of Netsuke Inro and Ojime and the cord joining the three.
Partly this is because the collector acquired an incomplete set as a "curio" or the netsuke dates to the late 19th century when they started being made and sold separately as objects of art and souvenirs but netsuke are meant to have a function. Sometimes the Inro just has a cord or a netsuke without an ojime or vice versa.
This first image shows how an #Inro opens up to reveal an inner box.
and here we see an #inro with cord and #ojime bead.