late 1500s–early 1600s
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Stoneware with underglaze iron oxide slip decoration (Mino ware, Shino type) and lacquer lid (modern replacement)
Diameter: 19.6 cm (7 11/16 in.); Lid: 2.9 x 14.7 cm (1 1/8 x 5 13/16 in.); Container: 18.4 cm (7 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1972.9
The water this container held during a tea gathering was used to fill the kama, or iron pot in which the water is heated.
Mizusashi are jars used to hold water for the preparation of tea at tea gatherings. This one was produced in the Mino area of present-day Gifu Prefecture in central Japan. It is called a “picture Shino” (e-shino) mizusashi, as it has an abstracted design on one side, said to resemble an ink painting of reeds and small boats along a riverbank, and a geometric pattern on the other. With its irregular shape and thick, luminous glaze, it is of a variety favored by eminent tea masters of the Momoyama period.
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