Houou Birds

Many Japanese cloisonne objects are decorated with the auspicious Houou bird 鳳​凰 (ほうおう). They can sometimes be a useful way of connecting an object to the workshop of a particular maker, or simply to make a connection to another item. This is because the design of a Houou Bird is relatively complex compared to many other design elements, for example butterflies. The workshop will therefore probably stick to a proven design, and protect it against competitors.

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