In Japan the rise of the military class with their passion for rustic simplicity in ceramic wares fueled a boom in the production of high-fired stonewares. The “Six Old Kiln” sites (Bizen, Tamba, Shigaraki, Echizen, Seto, and Tokoname) had long been producing humble wares. As the ruling class patronized the tea ceremony, these kilns were in demand to supply simple wares, which became expressions of the restraint and cultivated appreciation valued in this rite. In this cultural milieu, accidental occurrences during firing, such as deposits of ash, stone bursts, and fire or cord marks, became features that potters deliberately tried to reproduce with great care. By the time this Bizen jar was produced, there was nothing accidental about the fire marks or the well-placed spot of ash glaze on its shoulder.
Artist Japanese
  • Tea Storage Jar, Bizen ware
Date between late 16th and early 17th century
Medium Stoneware with ash glaze
Dimensions Overall: 16 7/8 × 17 inches (42.9 × 43.2 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, New Endowment Fund and Henry Ford II Fund
Accession Number 1989.73
Department Asian Art
Not On View
(Keiichi Shimojo, Tokyo, Japan);
1989-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)