Kakiemon porcelain came from a few small kilns in Arita in Kyushu, Japan, and has always been marked by its superior design and quality. Its manufacture was attributed to the Kakiemon family based on documentation that they alone had developed and had the mandate to produce overglaze enamelling in Japan albeit the technique was already long standing in China. Indeed in most collections it is the over-glaze enamelled pieces that are the archetypal examples of this ware but the kiln also produced plain undecorated, moulded wares and pieces with blue and white decoration such as this example. All three types are now represented in the Hamilton collection. The fuschi-beni or brown rim was intended either as protection from chipping or more likely as a framing device to highlight the white porcelain and its decoration. The central idealised prunus blossom with its five stamens, the slightly waxy glaze and its fuku (good luck) mark inside the base all typify the best Kakiemon wares of the Genroku period (1688-1704). The underglaze blue decoration is more complex on this bowl than that on many Kakiemon bowls nonetheless its pattern is consistent with other documented Kakiemon wares. The snowdrop roundels (yukiwa) appear on other Japanese porcelain and occasionally as the shape of mons or family symbols. Kakiemon ware is comparatively rare in Japan but large quantities were exported to Europe after Chinese wares ceased to be available following the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644. By about 1710 Chinese porcelain was once again available and importation of Japanese wares declined. This bowl was purchased by its previous owner from a dealer in Amsterdam.