30th-Anniversary Temporary Exhibition :
“Blue-and-White Ware of the Joseon Dynasty”

Blue-and-white or white porcelain with decoration in under glaze cobalt blue, a substantial and practical ware that has been disseminated to daily life, can be said as one of the most popular and well-used ware. Reached its completion around the latter half of the Yuan dynasty, blue-and-white was produced extensively in Korea and various regions in Asia and gained substantial popularity, though it has different appeals according to their time and place of production. The Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), the virtue of which had been set on frugality under the state ideology of Confucianism, regarded blue-and-white as a luxurious item and developed its original style acceptable to its philosophy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Production Productionof Joseon blue-and-white began in mid 15th century, but its full-scale production began in the official kilns in “Buwong”, which produced wares exclusively for court use, spreading through the Gwangju region in Gyeonggi-do. Due to the rarity and high cost of the cobalt, decoration was applied by court painters, thus early works were adorned with elaborate, pictorial decoration. The so-called “autumn-grass” style, the restrained but graceful flowering plant design in light blue paint, produced in the first half of the 18th century, and various stationary cherished by the Joseon literati of the 19th century, such as the water droppers and brush holders, were also highly valued in modern Japan.

This exhibition introduces the beauty and uniqueness of Korean blue-and-white by displaying approximately 40 pieces of blue-and-white ware along with contemporary lacquer ware, all produced during the Joseon period, the dynasty which lasted for over 500 years. Many Korean blue-and-white pieces from the museum collection are also shown in the permanent gallery.



30th-Anniversary Temporary Exhibition
“Blue-and-White Ware of the Joseon Dynasty”


Saturday, August 4 ― Sunday, October 14, 2012


Temporary Exhibition Gallery
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics,Osaka
1-1-26,Nakanoshima, Kita-ku,Osaka
-Just in front of “Naniwabashi” station of Keihan Nakanoshima Line
-400m from “Yodoyabashi” station of Subway Midosuji Line or Keihan Main Line.
-400m from “Kitahama” station of Subway Sakaisuji Line or Keihan Main Line.

Opening hours:

from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (last admission: 30 minutes prior to closing time)


Mondays (open on September 17 and October 8), Tuesday, September 18 and October 9

Organized by:

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka


Adults 600yen (480yen)
University and high school students 360yen (300 yen)

・Prices in parenthesis are group discount rates for a party of 20 people or more.
・The following visitors are free of charge:
*Holders of Shintaishogaisha techo (Identification Booklet for the Physically Challenged), including one companion
*Senior citizens of Osaka City holding IDs including:
Kenko techo (Health Handbook) with a ‘crane’ mark
Keiro yutai joshasho (senior discount ID for public transportation)
*Junior-high school students and under

Number of items on display:

approximately 40 pieces

Also showing:

Featured Exhibition:
Chinese Blue-and-white, Jingdezhen ware of Yuan-Ming Dynasties
Permanent Exhibition:

Chinese and Korean Ceramics of the Ataka Collection
Korean Ceramics of the Rhee Byung-Chang Collection
Japanese Ceramics
Chinese Snuff Bottles of the Oki Shoichiro Collection


The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
Phone: 06-6223-0055
Fax : 06-6223-0057

Major Works

Blue-and-white with plum and bamboo design
Gwangju official ware, Gyeonggi-do
Joseon dynasty, first half of the 16th century

Height: 35.0cm
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics,Osaka

(Gift of Sumitomo Group) Acc.No.20325

Records reveal that court painters were deployed to the official kiln “Buwong” to execute the blue-and-white painted decoration. By the 16th century, while still modeling on the motifs of the Chinese blue-and-white, the court painters contributed to render the richness of fresh fragrance on the motifs, the expression unique to Joseon dynasty. In this piece two branches of a plum tree intersecting and extending towards opposite directions are dexterously depicted. The plum blossoms are painted in deeper blue while the slender bamboo trees on the background painted in paler blue, rendering a pictorial atmosphere. The background is left white with no subordinate motifs. The short, rolled mouth rim is a style characteristic of 16th-century porcelain.

Blue-and-white with design of floral plants within panels
Gwangju official ware (Kumsa-ri), Gyeonggi-do
Joseon dynasty, first half of the 18th century

Height: 24.7 cm
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (Gift of Mr. ATAKA Teruya) Acc.No.21503

After forming a globular jar, the body and foot ring were beveled into an octagonal shape, the elegantly swollen body and the dignified foot ring making the work even more attractive. There are only two examples of existing beveled blue-and-white jars, both of which are in our museum collection. This particular piece is highly valued for formerly being owned by the late Asakawa Noritaka, an enthusiastic scholar of Korean ceramics. The restrained but graceful floral plant motif, known as “autumn-grass” motif, not only attracted many Japanese for its inconspicuous yet evocative atmosphere, but also was peculiar to wares of the Joseon dynasty in which frugality was considered a virtue. This piece, decorated with sweet autumn clematis, kalimeris, orchid and fringed pink, is likely to have been produced at Kumsa-ri.

Blue-and-white with design of chrysanthemums and banana leaves
Gwangju official ware (Buwong-ri), Gyeonggi-do
Joseon dynasty, first half of the 18th century

Height: 40.8 cm

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (Gift of Sumitomo Group) Acc.No.20270 y

Some examples of blue-and-white produced in the latter half of the 18th century are decorated with bonsai motifs, a combination of plum trees or guai-shi (grotesque stone) with floral plant motifs. This piece, however, is rare for the spontaneously drawn chrysanthemums and banana leaves grown from a flower pot placed on a table. The plenty amount of space is on a parallel with the autumn grass motif of the mid 18th century. Records on flower appreciation indicate that chrysanthemum was the most popular flower at that time, while in the 19th century there was growing popularity in growing narcissus and banana leaves. This piece, though not being introduced much to the public, well represents the taste of the literati of the latter half of the 18th century.