Japanese Satsuma Plate, Meiji Period (1868 -1912)
Japanese satsuma plate, Meiji period (1868 -1912), of shallow rounded form, finely decorated in enamels and gilt with a procession of a feudal lord (daimyo) and attendant samurai passing in front of a castle (cho) with shibi (roof ornaments) in the shape of shachihoko; the rim with a geometric brocade design, diameter:7 1/4in. (18.5cm.), condition: slight frits to footrim. It was believed in Japanese folklore that shachihoko, a mythical creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp, would cause rain to fall, thus shibi in this shape were thought to protect buildings from fire.