Important Cultural Property

Sake Bottle with a design of flowers and grasse

Imari ware



Artist Imari ware
Period Edo period, 17th century
Materials and techniques Porcelain with underglaze blue
Size H.32.0 MD.5.3 D.17.8 BD.10.6


Porcelain was fired successfully for the first time in Japan in the early 17th century in Arita of Saga prefecture. These products however came to be known as Imari ware as they were shipped to other parts of Japan as well as to foreign countries from the port of Imari. This is an early Imari sometsuke (blue and white) bottle produced in Arita. Its body, which swells slightly toward the base, is divided into eight zones by vertical lines running down the sides and is decorated with freely painted motifs including flowers and grasses, chrysanthemums, a plum tree, and ivy vines. The bottle is a fine example displaying the simplicity and rusticity typical of early Imari ware.