Vintage Japanese Pottery

Vintage Set of Japanese Multihued Mino/Oribe Yakimono Ware | Vintage Japanese Tea Ceremony Kozara Square Plates


Age:Shows Era (1947-55)

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 1-1/2”h x 4-1/2” square

Being offered is a Yakimono creation from Mino (also known as Oribe-yaki), and represents a pair of shallow square condiment plates is a perfect example of Kozara Oribe technique of this era being bold, playful, and abstract and used for serving food that “amuses the mouth”, as well as offering spicy condiments and sauces. Both pieces are hand-formed and incorporate freely-applied yellow, brown, cream, and black that feature rather unconventional and creative designs with simple geometric and textile patterns including abstract flowers that connect with nature and illustrate two traditions merging. The condiment plats are raised on four wedge feet incorporated into the base. The piece is hand inscribed by the maker on the bottom.

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. 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, and is considered a classic style of Japanese aesthetics and captures the spirit of the Wabi tea ceremony.

Condition: Excellent condition as originally formed. No imperfections with a wonderful “hand” to the touch.

NOTE: Mino 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.