Japanese / Dish with Foliate Rim / Edo period, early 17th centuryJapanese
Dish with Foliate Rim
Edo period, early 17th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japanese
Title: Dish with Foliate Rim
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1600
Creation End Date: 1633
Creation Date: Edo period, early 17th century
Creation Place: Japan, Gifu Prefecture
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Stoneware with incised and combed design under copper-green glaze (Mino ware, Oribe type)
Dimensions: H. 2 in. (5.0 cm); D. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.228
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Rights: http://www.asiasociety.org
Context: The development of certain types of Japanese ceramics, such as Iga and Mino wares, and the use of ceramics for serving food and eating are linked to the evolution of the tea ceremony (chanoyu) in Japan. The drinking of powdered green tea (matcha) whipped with boiling water came from China to Japan at the end of the 12th century together with the Zen sect of Buddhism and a certain complex of cultural practices, philosophical pursuits, and artistic styles. This tea was first used in Zen monasteries as an aid to meditation and as a part of formal gatherings. The drinking of this type of tea spread from Zen circles to the Japanese aristocracy, who organized formal tea ceremonies. The tea ceremonies also served as a means of displaying the host's treasures, which at first were primarily Chinese in origin and included refined ceramics as well as paintings, lacquers, and other objects. Over time, as the tea ceremony was redefined under the guidance of various tea masters, new tastes emerged, andeveryday Korean ceramics as well as stonewares produced in Japanese kilns began to be appreciated for their unpolished charms and used in the tea ceremony.

By the 16th century, Japanese ceramics were in great demand for use in both the tea ceremony andthe kaiseki meal served before the more formal type of tea ceremonies. In Japan, wood and lacquer had traditionally been used for dining, and the use of ceramics for the kaiseki meal and tea ceremony helped to spur their use in homes. Equally important was the introduction in the late 15th century, probably from Korea, of a new and larger type of kiln that facilitated the manufacture of the high-fired, glazed stonewares characteristic of Japanese 16th- and 17th-century ceramics.

One of only two complexes that produced glazed ceramics prior to the 16th century, the Mino kilns were located around the modern cities of Tajimi, Toki, and Mizunami (excavations have uncovered over seventy kilns), and are noted for the development of new glazes, forms, and types of wares, particularly in the last quarter of the 16th century. This small food dish with a foliate rim is an example of Oribe ware, produced by the Mino kilns. More specifically, it is a type of Oribe ware classified as Green Oribe (ao-oribe) because of the use of a bright copper-green glaze, often called Oribe green. Unlike the majority of Green Oribe works, however, here the green glaze completely covers the piece. Incised under the glaze is an image of a scholar riding a donkey, which may have resonances appropriate to the ambiance of a tea ceremony; Chinese literature is replete with tales of famous and not-so-famous scholars riding away on donkeys, often to seek the solitude necessary for a contemplative life. In additionto the central image, motifs such as bamboo shoots, waves, and circles with flowerlike designs are incised under the glaze. Dishes of this type were produced at the Myodo kilns in the Mino region to be used as sets rather than as individual serving pieces.

Oribe wares are named after the influential tea master Furuta Oribe (1544-1615) because their bold, often distorted shapes and powerful decoration are believed to illustrate his taste and the style of his tea ceremony. A pupil of the influential tea master Sen no Rikyu (1521-1591), Oribe developed a more energetic, expressive, and individualistic style of tea, and is often cedited with the experimentation in shapes and forms that mark Japanese tea wares in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Recent excavations suggest that production of the famous Oribe wares was centered in a group of seven kilns located in the villages of Kujiri, Ohira, and Ogaya. An additional Oribe kiln has also been discovered in Tsumagi, which unlike the other three villages is located to the south of the Toki river. Production of Oribe ware began around 1590 and is believed to have lasted until about 1635.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 101.
Related Document Description: Meech-Pekarik, Julia. 'Notable Japanese Ceramics.' Apollo (November 1983), p. 432.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.228
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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