A Japanese sake ewer (kurojoka) shaped as a minogame (mythical tortoise with a tail that symbolizes long life) covered with mottled brown, gray and yellow glaze, probably from Satsuma province in southern Kyushu Island.
Kuro (black) joka is a container that is used to heat "shochu" wine which is made from sweet potatoes. Shochu, started in Kagoshima has been a cheaper wine for common people. It is different from "sake" wine which is brewed rice wine. Recent trends show the nationwide popularity of shochu exceeded "sake" in consumption for the first time in 2003.
The kilns in southern Kyushu such as Ryumonji yaki (Kagoshima, black Satsuma), Shodai yaki (Kumamoto), Onta yaki (Ohita) have a history of over 250 to 400 years. Their kilns are built in a Korean style (started by Korean potters) and have beautiful glazes. The potteries from the region inspired (or were inspired by) the Mingei movement of Taisho to Showa period. In the Satsuma province, joka in minogame (turtle) style were used for all ceremonial occasions for boys. 8 1/8" long x 6 1/2" wide.