Shigaraki ware jar for hand-washing water

Artist: Okuda Shinsai (1821-1902)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1860-1865
Stoneware with white and copper glazes
Shigaraki ware
H x W: 25.9 x 24.5 cm (10 3/16 x 9 5/8 in)
Japan, Shiga prefecture, Shigaraki
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Water jar (chozubachi)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Shigaraki ware, stoneware, water

To 1898
Yamanaka & Company, to 1898 [1]

From 1898 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1898 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 39, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Okuda Shinsai was famous both as a maker of large ceramic pieces and as a sumo wrestler. This sort of jar could be found in every Japanese home, but Shinsai's version is distinguished by the rare use of underglaze copper-red, a difficult and costly color to achieve.

Published References
  • Tomimasu Jun'ichi. Shigaraki-yaki no Kansho (An Appreciation of Shigaraki Ceramics). Shigaraki, Japan. .
  • Louise Allison Cort. Shigaraki Potters' Valley., 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. .
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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