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Whatchamacallit 85: Japanese Vase

Vase from Okinawa

I bought the above vase while visiting Okinawa in January.

My trip to Japan was an excellent vacation and, in light of ensuing madness, something that has kept me going over the last few months.

I found the vase in a shop along the north side of Kokusai-dori, a street near my hotel. It was one of the few shops on the street that was selling unique things: I went into the shop because it had a canvas bag in the window that I liked, but I then realized it had a large selection of ceramics for sale. This was upstairs, on a set of shelves just to the left at the top of the stairs.

No clue how much I paid for this.

I do know that the vase was made by Atsushi Tomoyose, but I don’t have any way to find his own website or storefront since my Japanese is rather weak.

So, I have two comments: first: I bought this because of the lovely stem – with the leaf at the top. I almost did not buy it because I was worried that it would break during my subsequent travels. Second, it wasn’t until I took the above photograph that I realized that there is an etching of some kind on the side of the bottom. My feeling after examining the entire etching is that it is of a fish.

I have not actually used it as a vase: it seems too delicate for living flowers, so I think it’s for dried flowers.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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