Vintage Japanese Pottery

Vintage Japanese Multihued Mino/Oribe Yakimono Ware | Vintage Japanese Tea Ceremony Kaiseki Mukozuke Serving Piece


Age:Late Meiji era (1868-1912)

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 2-3/4”h x 7-1/4”w x 6-0”d

The piece being offered is Oribe ware from Mino (also known as Oribe-yaki) is a type of Japanese stoneware recognized by its freely-applied glaze and unique motif, as well as its dramatic visual departure from the more somber, monochrome shapes and vessels common during this time. 

This deep serving bowl is a perfect example of Oribe pottery of this era being bold, playful, and abstract. It is hand-formed and incorporated surface paint layers that feature rather unconventional and abstract designs of simple geometric and textile patterns including a flying crane to connect with nature merging two traditions. This type of Yakimono has brilliant green copper glazes, the Mino yellow, brown, cream, and black glazes, all of which was probably the first colored stoneware glaze ever used by Japanese potters of the time. The bowl is raised on four wedge feet incorporated into the base. Oribe is still wildly popular today, and is considered a classic style of Japanese aesthetics. This piece of Oribe ware captures the spirit of wabi tea, and is hand inscribed  by the artist on the bottom. NOTE: Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge.

This piece is included in the definition of Kaiseki-Mukozuke, which was one of the most frequent uses of ceramics in the Mukozuke course of eating, certainly the first the guest to see, and a dish used to hold something special and prepared by the host. Tea people for the sake of entertainment and visual excitement enjoy contrasting objects used in the ceremony. In this case the ceramicist has greater freedom to move the clay, carving, molding, and manipulating to result in interesting shapes showing the unbridled imagination of the Mino potters which include the assemblage of distinctly different ceramic finishes. And finally, the color in Mukozuke is an important consideration in relation to the food served. There is also the thought that one wants to incorporate the entire range of a creative experience. 

Condition: Excellent condition as originally formed. No imperfections with a wonderful visual and textural quality.

NOTE: Oribe is a visual style named after the late-16th-century tea master Furuta Oribe,(1544-1615) who was a warrior who once served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Oda Nobunaga. He became the foremost tea master when his teacher Sen no Rikyu perished. It’s most often seen in pottery, but extends to textiles and paintings. Oribe was not an actual potter, but (like many other influential figures in Japan’s art history) something akin to an art director or designer. He embodied the spirit of wabi tea so completely that he was able to give it form in a truly new and unique vision. The motifs, taken from nature or other decorative patterns such as textiles, were ground-breaking in their bold informality. It must have been this recognition of a new Japanese aesthetic that caused tea devotees to cherish Oribe ware. Its ability to capture something of the artistic and spiritual soul of Japan quickly spread throughout the country, and its mass popularity continues to this day.