Jar with Handle

  • Sanage kiln, Aichi pref.
  • Early Heian period
  • 9c
  • Sanage ware, ash glaze
  • H-32 D-26
Catalogue Entry

Early Heian period, 9th century
Sanage ware, ash glaze
Height, 32.0cm; mouth diameter, 12.6cm;
torso diameter, 26.0cm; base diameter, 18.3cm

The Sanage kilns trace back to the Sue wares of the 5th century, but their real flourishing as a central region for ceramic production came in the middle of the Nara period (8th century) in response to the decline of the Suemura kilns in the southern region of Osaka, formerly Japan's largest center for the production of Sue wares. It was also around this period that a large number of these wares were transported to Heijo-kyo as tribute goods. The potters at Sanage began to use ash glazes in the kiln intentionally during the late 8th century, and green-glazed ceramic production began at the beginning of the 9th century. With the development of these firing techniques, the Sanage potters then began the production of true ash-glazed ceramic wares. In order to effectively manage the resulting colors in these wares, they began to use a white clay with a high-firing temperature.
This ash-glazed jar with handle is a product of this early period and is a rare example with its relatively fat and low mouth-neck area and round handle attached on the rounded shoulder of the body. There were, however, a number of Sue ware works made in this period that resemble this form, albeit not many examples have an unflaired mouth edge. This jar was made from a washed white clay that was then skillfully shaped on the potter's wheel, and ash glaze was con-sciously coated on the shoulders. The successful firing of the work then allowed the clear green-colored ash glaze to flow effectively over the shoulders and torso of the jar. There is also ash glaze on the exterior foot of the jar. This is a superb example of the particular characteristics of the early ash-glazed wares produced at Sanage. SN