Meiji Bijutsu

Edo Period Takatori Tsubo

Edo Period Takatori Tsubo

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Earthenware: Pre 1900: Item # 1224029
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A very splendid tsubo (jar) from the Takatori pottery tradition dating from the Edo period (1615-1868).

This particular piece comes from the collection of an old Japanese family.

Takatori ware was first made at the foot of Mount Takatori near Hakata in northern Kyushu, at the beginning of the 17th century. Like several pottery traditions born in Kyushu, the first Takatori kiln was established by a Korean potter. The originator of that ware was named Palsan (later renamed Takatori Hachizo ( - 1654). He acted on the order of the leader of the Kuroda clan, Kuroda Nagamasa (1568 - 1623), ruler of the Chikuzen domain (current Fukuoka prefecture) at that time. Like Agano ware, made in the same region, Takatori ware was much favored and influenced by tea master Kobori Enshu (1579-1647), who liked its wabi-sabi aesthetics.

This particular tsubo presents a sober robe and a simple design. It is that simplicity that has been the attractiveness of Takatori ware, and though the glazes can form more spectacular keshiki (landscape) with nuanced tones, it is always in subtle ways and self-restraint.

The tsubo shows a kiln accident called kutsuki (see picture 7); this kind of “flaw” is formed during firing when potteries fired next to each other get stuck and one gets “scarred” from that contact. In the case of this pot, the resulting “navel” seems to give depth to the otherwise monochromatic vessel.

The tsubo bears the seal of the Takatori kiln it was made in.
Dimensions: 24.5 x 15.5 cm (9.8 x 6.2 in); 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs)

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