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Asian Art

Fresh-Water Jar (Mizusashi)

19th century

Stoneware and lacquer on wood lid

5 13/16 × 7 1/16 in. (14.8 × 18 cm)
Gift of George Dudley Seymour, M.A. (HON.) 1913
Bizen ware is one of the most distinctive of unglazed Japanese ceramics and clearly embodies the aesthetic of austere rusticity that came to be appreciated from the late fifteenth century onward. Initially, utilitarian vessels were deemed appropriate for use in the tea ceremony. By the late sixteenth century, however, pieces were being made specifically for the tea context. This mizusashi demonstrates the dark exterior exposed to the high heat of the kiln and the fire-cord marks (hidasuki) achieved by wrapping the vessel in rice straw. The high alkaline content of the rice straw reacted with the iron content in the ceramic body to create the scorched fire-cord marks.
Edo period (1615–1868)
Containers - Ceramics

George Dudley Seymour, New Haven, Conn.; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.