Fresh Water Jar (Mizusashi)

  • Shigaraki kiln, Shiga pref.Sin
  • Momoyama period
  • 16th century
  • Shigaraki ware, natural ash glaze
  • H-16 D-18
Catalogue Entry

Momoyama period, 16th century
Shigaraki ware, natural ash glaze
Height, 16.0cm; mouth diameter, 17.7cm

Shigaraki and Bizen wares were the first Japanese wares to be taken up by tea ceremony practitioners, and no later than the beginning of the 16th century saw tea masters using
small Shigaraki jars and buckets (imo'oke or oni'oke) as fresh water jars. In later years,
Shigaraki and Bizen wares became the standard for fresh water jars, and unlike the
individualistic flower vases and water jars produced by the Bizen and Iga kilns, Shigaraki produced a great number of these quiet, simple-mouthed form of fresh water jars. Indeed, from the beginning the simple-mouthed form of fresh water jars were based on the
vessel form of the oni'oke bucket shape and were then adjusted into shapes suitable for
the tea tastes of the Momoyama period. This water jar displays an artless form and
handling that suggests this development of the Shigaraki ware simple-mouthed form of
water jar.

Here the soft clay body shows the eruption of numerous feldspathic particles, and the
distinctive fired form of Shigaraki wares in which the areas close to and distant from the
kiln flames fired to differing finishes and thus created a splendid surface quality. At the
same time, the vessel form itself is a relatively serene handling of this water jar type. TA