Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Okinawan Tsuboya Ware Hip Flask

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1960: item # 317930

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Okinawan Tsuboya Ware Hip Flask

This portable crescent-shaped ceramic sake container, called a “dachibin,” is one of the classic shapes of Tsuboyan pottery (tsuboya-yaki) and unique to Okinawa. Mid-20th century. The body is randomly covered with a buff colored glaze which exhibits the normal glaze crazing. The pottery biscuit shows through areas along the shoulder and side where the glaze did not spread. There are splashes of rich speckled copper green glaze around the spout and both lugs. The neck is finished in a rich brown glaze, and the unglazed base has the texture of fabric. This flask’s unique shape conforms to the curve of a person’s hip. The flask is filled through the neck in the center, and the inclined, tubular spout directs a stream of sake or water into one’s mouth when the flask is tipped. The flask’s two perforated lugs would accommodate a shoulder cord, so the flask would be handy for journeys or for festivals.

Over the centuries, Okinawa has become quite well-known for its cultural heritage and art. One of Okinawa's most distinct and well-known art forms is pottery, and the center for the pottery movement for the past three hundred years has been Tsuboya. This flask is an example of “joyachi” tsuboya ware, which is glazed and often colorful. Throughout the 20th century, Tsuboya had to overcome many challenges, including World War II, but it still remains famous as the center of quality art form pottery on Okinawa.

CONDITION is very good, with just a tiny nick in the unglazed corner beneath the spout.

DIMENSIONS: 6” (15.3 cm) long, 2 ½” (6.4 cm) wide, 4” (10.2 cm) high.

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