Jar for tea ceremony
Japan, Bizen kilns
Stoneware, with natural ash glaze, firing marks and incised decoration
Museum no. 191-1877
This jar contained the cold water used in the tea ceremony. The ceremony is associated with a taste for the simple and the restrained (wabi), which is matched by the jar's roughness and irregularity. The glaze deliberately uses a chance effect - the result of wood ash settling on the jar during firing.
The jar is an early example of purpose-made tea ware. Previously, ceramics made for other purposes had been used.