Period: Momoyama period (1573–1615)

Culture: Japan

Medium: Stoneware with painted decoration in underglaze brown iron (Karatsu ware)

Dimensions: H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm); W. 6 in. (15.2 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Dr. and Mrs. Roger G. Gerry Collection, Bequest of Dr. and Mrs. Roger G. Gerry, 2000

Accession Number: 2002.447.21


It was in the Karatsu area of the island of Kyushu that Korean potters first introduced the noborigama, or climbing kiln, to Japan. This type of kiln was more advanced than previous ones, and allowed for better control during firing. This jar, painted with a simple motif reminiscent of the character dai, or great, was made in such a kiln. This austere aesthetic was promoted by followers of the tea ceremony during the Momoyama period. The techniques employed by Korean potters at Karatsu kiln sites were integral to the emergence of porcelain production in Japan in the early seventeenth century.