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Water Jar for Tea Ceremony
Japan, Mie Prefecture; Momoyama (1573-1615) to Edo (1615-1867) period, late 16th - early 17th century
Stoneware with impressed design under glaze (Iga ware)
H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)including cover; W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm); D. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
For the tea practitioners of the Momoyama period, this water jar would have been appealing precisely because of its imperfections: the roughly square, squat form, the uneven surface and seemingly random decoration, and the irregular streaks of glaze, frozen in midstream. This container held fresh water, which was boiled in a hot brazier and then poured into individual tea bowls and briskly whisked with bright green powdered tea leaves. Iga ware water jars and flower vases, produced in a rural region in west-central Japan, were used frequently in tea ceremonies of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
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