This is a vintage Japanese Sumida Gawa mug with a handle. The mug has a scholar wearing a blue and white robe and in high relief. It measures 5" x 5" x 3 1/2". Vintage condition is good. The artist's mark is on the back.
This colorful ware was made for export to the West and is usually heavy and covered with figures in relief. Most pieces are everyday objects such as tea pots, vases, and mugs. This distinct type of wares got its name from the Sumida River running near the Asakusa pottery district near Tokyo. Sumida pottery has often been called by many names - Poo ware, Sumidagawa, Banko, or Asakusa Banko. The style of applied figures on a surface with flowing glaze was invented about 1890 by the Seto potter Ryosai I, who worked in Tokyo from about 1875 to 1900. They are often embellished with glazed plaques with hand written signatures or general good luck symbols. A great number of the pieces are probably the work of a single family - Inoue Ryosai I (1828-), Inoue Ryosai II (born c. 1860), and Inuoue Ryosai III (1888-1971) who moved the manufacturing site to Yokohama in 1924. After the move to Yokohama more colors e.g. orange were added to the wares. The later pieces also have an unglazed background.