A chocolate brown ash or salt glazed globular shaped pot from the Ryukyo islands. This interesting piece measures 7 1/2" diameter at its widest - 4 1/8" diameter at the top - 3 1/2' diameter at the base and is 5 1/2" high. There is some rubbing to the outside glaze from usage and a 1 1/4" chip on the inside top rim. We believe it dates to sometime between 1890-1950. There are two impressed marks on the base - one translates as "Ryukyu" and the mark in the oval translates as "Ninomia".
Okinawa Island (Okinawa-hontō) is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands, and is home to Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture. Okinawa’s contributions to pottery trace back to its early days as the Ryukyu Kingdom, when traders sailed the waters between Korea, mainland Japan, China and southeast Asia nations. Local artisans studied the varied pottery styles, picked what they considered the best of each, and handcrafted their own products.
A royal directive from the Shuri Court, issued more than 300 years ago, set Okinawa on the road to becoming a pottery powerhouse in Asia. Okinawa’s king directed local pottery operations and kilns in the villages of Chibana, Wakuta and Takarguchi to merge into a single plant in Tsuboya, a downtown neighborhood in Naha. The king’s goal was to make Okinawa pottery a dynamic part of inter-Asian trade that also included lacquerware, leather, weaving and other arts and crafts.
Tsuboya Pottery began production in 1609. drawing upon royal patronage to become a strong, creative industry. The distinctive Ryukyu pottery breaks down into two types: glazed pottery, or joyaki, and unglazed pottery, or arayaki. Both treatments of the clay contribute to the warmth of the Okinawan islands and peoples.