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Large Jar


Artist Tanba ware
Period Nanbokucho period, dated 1344
Materials and techniques Stoneware with natural glaze
Size H.43.9 MD.13.8 D.39.3 BD.23.9


Ko-Tanba (Tanba ware beore Momoyama period) jars were produced at the foot of the mountains in an area around Onobaa of Tanba, present day Konda-cho of Taki County in Hyogo Prefecture. The jars, with their hard, smooth clay body fired to a light reddish-brown color and covered with a natural glaze, are the most elegant of all the yakishime (high-fired unglazed stonewares) of medieval Japan. There are several extant ko-Tanba jars with “Third year of Koei” inscribed on them. These jars, marked June, July, September and such, serve as important reference for chronicling Tanba ware, Koei is the name of an era used in the Northern Court during the Nanbokucho period, and from this, it is known that these jars were produced within the territory ruled by the Ashikaga family. This jar was coil-built and then modeled using a potter’s wheel, using clay which was probably taken from a nearby mountain. Its body, pulled up from a heavy and flat base, is short compared to other jars of the same type, and the broad shoulder narrows drastically to form a short neck, ending in a comparatively small mouth with a rounded lip. There are no other Tanba jars of this period which have a rounded lip, and the color of the natural glaze on the shoulder is also different from the typical Tanba jars. The make of the mouth and the method of shaping using a potter’s wheel resemble the techniques of Bizen ware, and it is possible that the place of production will be changed in the future to somewhere close to Bizen.

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