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9 Items in this Learning Collection

Copyright
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Tall narrow-necked bottle with oil spot glaze

Accession Number
1963/2.66

Title
Tall narrow-necked bottle with oil spot glaze

Artist(s)
Katō Kōbei V

Object Creation Date
circa 1960

Medium & Support
stoneware with "oil spot" tenmoku glaze

Dimensions
11 x 3 x 3 in. (27.94 x 7.62 x 7.62 cm);11 13/16 x 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 in. (30 x 12.07 x 12.07 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the artist

Label copy
2. Arao Tsunezô
Japan, active 1950–1970
Tea bowl
Showa period (1926–1989)
circa 1960
Stoneware with tenmoku glaze
Museum purchase, 1965/1.155
3. Hara Masao
Japan, 20th century
Tea bowl
Showa period (1926–1989)
circa 1975–80
Stoneware with oil spot tenmoku glaze
Gift of Mr. Masao Hara, 1980/2.164
4. Katô Kôbei
Japan, 1893–1982
Narrow-necked bottle
Showa period (1926–1989)
circa 1950–63
Stoneware with oil spot tenmoku glaze
Gift of the artist, 1963/2.66
Deep black and brown glazed tenmoku ware was highly prized in the Imperial court of the Chinese Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). Produced in the Jian kilns in Fujian, this type of pottery was brought to Japan by Zen monks who had studied in Chinese monasteries in the twelfth century; later it was treasured by generations of Japanese tea practitioners. The many variations of these wares—which have names such as yuteki (oil spot) tenmoku and konoha (leaf) tenmoku—require an extremely careful calculation of firing temperatures for successful glazing. The works on display are the result of a long process of trial and error by potters trained to achieve tenmoku variations and other virtuosic effects.
(Turning Point exhibition, Spring 2010)
During the Muromachi period in Japan (1333–1573), trade with China was often handled through the agency of Zen Buddhist monks, who had learned Chinese through their religious studies. Several Zen monks traveled in person to the great Chan monasteries in southeast China and on their return brought back not only new Buddhist teachings but also the material and visual culture of late Song and Yuan dynasty China. As a consequence, the Zen monasteries of Kyoto became centers of Chinese learning and promoted the study of Chinese poetry, painting, and the art of drinking tea. The tea bowls the Japanese monks discovered in southeast China were the black glazed ware from the Jian kilns, known in Japan as tenmoku. The most highly prized varieties of tenmoku were those with the descriptively named "iridescent", "oil spot", and "hare’s fur" glazes. Modern potters in both China and Japan continue to work in these glazes to satisfy the contemporary market for tea wares. This bottle is an example of modern tenmoku ware.
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Deep black and brown glazed tenmoku ware was highly prized in the Imperial court of the Chinese Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). Produced in the Jian kilns in Fujian, this type of pottery was brought to Japan by Zen monks who had studied in Chinese monasteries in the twelfth century; later it was treasured by generations of Japanese tea practitioners. The many variations of these wares—which have names such as yuteki (oil spot) tenmoku and konoha (leaf) tenmoku—require an extremely careful calculation of firing temperatures for successful glazing. The works on display are the result of a long process of trial and error by potters trained to achieve tenmoku variations and other virtuosic effects.
(Turning Point exhibition, Spring 2010)

Subject matter
Japanese buddhist monks brought pottery back from pilgrimages to southeast China during the Muromachi period (1333–1573). The wares they brought back were the black glazed ware from the Jian kilns, known in Japan as tenmoku. The most highly prized varieties of tenmoku were those with the descriptively named "iridescent", "oil spot", and "hare’s fur" glazes. This bottle is an example of modern tenmoku ware.

Physical Description
Tenmoku ware bottle with 'oilspot glaze',egg shaped base and long, narrow, cylinder neck.

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
vase

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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Keywords
bottle
bottles
vase
vases

1 Related Resource

W20 Chinese Language Tour Cases
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

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