For a related example of Makuzu Kozan ware, see Joe Earle, Splendors of Meiji: Treasures of Imperial Japan, Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection (St. Petersburg, Florida, 1999), no. 213, a phoenix-headed teapot similar to one exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900.
The kame is traditionally believed by Japanese to have a long life. A popular proverb is that 'cranes live a thousand years, and turtles, ten thousands years'. Considered as symbols of longevity, pictures and designs of crane and turtles are depicted on articles used on felicitous occasions, on brides' kimono, and in many other ways. They are usually shown with a tail-like appendage of seaweed which has become attached to their shells during their long life. There are many fairy tales and legends that relate the ways in which turtles have brought happiness and joy to good people.