Large Jar

  • Shigaraki kiln, Shiga pref.
  • Early Muromachi period
  • 15c
  • Shigaraki ware, natural ash glaze
  • H-51 D-38
Catalogue Entry

Early Muromachi period, 15th century
Shigaraki ware, natural ash glaze
Height, 51.0cm; mouth diameter, 17.3cm;
torso diameter, 38.0cm; base diameter, 17.8cm

With an overall surface turned red by the flames of the kiln and white chunks of feldspar breaking the surface of the clay, large Shigaraki jars are some of the most fascinating wares of Japan's medieval period. This large jar is a typical example of this form. A variety of mouth shapes were used on Shigaraki wares of this general period, and this jar shows a short, outward-turning mouth and neck whose edge has a relatively fat, rounded form. The body of the torso was built up in three stages of clay coils to create the long torso form known as the hagizukuri shape. The joins between each of these coil layers are bent and can be clearly discerned, and this is a characteristic of this period of production and shared by other medieval period wares.

This large jar was well-fired to create a fire-red vessel surface. White bits of feldspar break the surface of the clay throughout the vessel, and half of the vessel is coated from mouth edge to base in a flow of dark green-colored natural ash glaze. These colored surface effects combine to create a particularly lively appearance. This is definitely one of the finest examples of large Shigaraki jars. SN