Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1615-1868
Unglazed pottery
H x W x D: 28.2 x 20.3 x 4.1 cm (11 1/8 x 8 x 1 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Architectural Element, Ceramic

Roof tile

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, unglazed

To 1914
Kita Toranosuke, Kyoto to 1914 [1]

From 1914 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), given by Kita Toranosuke, Kyoto in 1912 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Object file.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Kita Toranosuke (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


When Charles Freer received this roof tile as a gift from a Kyoto acquaintance, he was told it had come from Koetsu-ji, the Buddhist temple built on the land north of Kyoto where Hon'ami Koetsu (1558-1637) had lived and worked. Freer greatly admired Koetsu and his accomplishments as a calligrapher and amateur potter. The sixteen-petal chrysanthemum crest on the tile suggests, however, that the tile was used on a temple or other building associated with the imperial family. It would have formed part of a row of tiles along the ridgeline. The tile is broken and is approximately half its original size.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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