Uzukumaru Jar with Cypress Fence Pattern

  • Shigaraki kiln, Shiga pref.
  • Muromachi period
  • 15th
  • Shigaraki ware, natural ash glaze
  • H-16.5 D-15
Catalogue Entry

Mid-Muromachi period, 15th century
Shigaraki ware, natural ash glaze and incised decoration
Height, 16.5cm; mouth diameter, 7.0-7.5cm;
torso diameter, 14.7cm; base diameter, 11.3-11.8cm

This is a small jar with an incised fence motif that is called an uzukumaru, or squat shape jar, a characteristic form of Shigaraki ware. The double-layered mouth common to the uzukumaru form is slightly tilted here, indicating that the mouth and neck area were warped in the firing process. The shoulder swell and the large diameter of the base means that there is a direct fall from shoulder to base, with almost no swelling at the torso. The brushwood fence motif carved loosely with a spatula across the shoulder area gives a powerful force to this small jar. Well-fired, the surface of the jar shows a mottling of white and brown colors caused by the firing, a coloration that harmonizes marvelously with the bright green natural ash glaze that flows from the mouth-neck area to the base. These elements reveal the mysterious quality amidst the jar's seemingly simple form.
The back of the neck area was pierced after its production, and this jar was probably changed into a hanging flower vase at some time in its life. SN