Furidashi Pot with Bird Design

  • Karatsu kiln, Saga pref.
  • Momoyama to Edo periods
  • 17c
  • Karatsu ware, E-garatsu type
  • H-7 D-9
    Formerly in the collection of Kurahashi Kojiro
Catalogue Entry

Karatsu ware was established in the Tensho era (1573‐1592) and a large number of kilns were opened in the area by the Koreans potters who were brought to Japan after Hideyoshi's invention of Korea during the Bunroku and Keicho eras. The kilns produced large numbers of household dishes and utensils for the tea ceremony, and while the older examples are simpler, all characterized by a fascinatingly free style and charming painted decoration. This furidashi pot is a miniature imitation of a small Karatsu jar, and would have been used during a tea ceremony event to contain either sweets or parched barley flour. Such a container would have been placed on a tray with other small items in the waiting area for guests about to enter a tea ceremony, or to enjoy during intervals in the ceremony. The torso of this jar is decorated with extremely abbreviated renderings of several birds. Possibly a flock of crows returning to the mountains at sunset, the birds and the gentle fired texture of the ceramic seem to evoke an invitation to a welcoming home. The rim and a section of the torso were warped in the heat of the kiln, but that slight quaver in shape only heightens the attractive quality of this little pot.