What Language is this?? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
Tom Cat
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 345
What Language is this??

I bought a small cup and pitcher at a flea market several months ago, and I have been curious about them ever since. They have characters on them, but I have no clue from what language. I have searched on the internet extensively, but cannot find anything remotely similar to the ones on the dishes. So, I was wondering if any of you could help me out!!

There are several pictures, so I will just include a link to the album instead of posting them all on here. If I can figure out the language (if it is a language and not just some nonsensical characters) I may be able to figure it out myself. But if any of you have an idea of what they say, I would be very grateful to know!! I am pretty sure that they are hand "carved" because of size and slight shape differences, but the bottom is a stamp (I think) and I would be happy to know what it means as well.

I labeled each as "View 1" etc, and if you have an idea please include "View 1: meaning" so that I can match them up later! TIA!!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 09:16 PM
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It's been many, many years since I've seen it, but it looks like a very old form of japanese writing known as "Kanji". If memory serves me correctly, it was Japans first written language, and incorporated a lot of chinese characters. But, I could very easily be wrong, just it looks somewhat familiar.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
Tom Cat
Join Date: Apr 2004
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The booth owner was a WWI and II veteran and everything in the booth was brought back after the war. Thanks for the quick response Mike!! I will look that up to see if I can find anything!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 09:32 PM
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Location: Northern California
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well, I'm not sure about the writing but they look like bisqued work that's been raku fired. Bisqued work is quickly heated to red hot temperature and then taken out of the kiln and reduced in wood shavings, newspaper or a similar combustible material. it's decorated with low-fire glazes, which usually contain a lot of frit. which yours is judging from the cracked look of the glaze inside the cups.

raku fireing is Japanese in origin so my guess that it's Japanese
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 09:39 PM
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I am going to go out on a limb and say that the lettering may be Korean. I have seen Korean letters before and they tend to be more squared off than Japanese or Chinese letters.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 11:15 PM
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Neither Chinese nor Japanese have circles in their characters. So it probably would be Korean. I recognize four letters that mean "humanity", "peace", "ancient", and "precious" so it is probably a Buddhist thing. However, the letters for "humanity" , "peace", "ancient", and "precious" are the same for all the three languages, so it is not saying much.

I can't really tell from those pictures, but it might be one side Korean and one side Chinese.

However, it has a Chinese seal on the bottom. I can't read it because it is upside down. It says something like the pottery is made in the workshop of Chen somebody, which means it might be manufactured in Southern China or Taiwan because the majority of people with the surname Chen live there.

Cassandra is right about the firing technique. We have a lot of such kilns in my hometown (Nantou). It would be really cool if it originated from there.
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