Oribe ware ewer with designs of blossoming plum branches and various geometic motifs

Historical period(s)
Momoyama or early Edo period, 1615-1624
Stoneware clay with Oribe copper-green glaze and iron pigment under colorless glaze
Mino ware, Oribe type
H x W x D: 19.7 x 20.6 x 20.6 cm (7 3/4 x 8 1/8 x 8 1/8 in)
Japan, Gifu prefecture, Tajimi, possibly Kamagane kilns
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Early Edo period (1615 - 1716), Japan, Mino ware, Oribe type, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), plum blossom, stoneware, tea, WWII-era provenance

To 1969
S. Yabumoto Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. [1]

From 1969
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from S. Yabumoto Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. [2]


[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

S. Yabumoto Co., Ltd.


This ewer would have been used to refill the fresh-water jar midway during a tea ceremony. The patchwork of decorative motifs derives from contemporary tsujigahana textile design, which combined tie-dyed areas of color with hand-drawn motifs on the white ground.

Oribe ware is distinguished by the use of a glaze tinted green with copper oxide fired in oxidation. The glaze sometimes was used as an overall coating for vessels but more typically was applied in carefully calculated patches to contrast with areas of pictorial or geometric decoration painted with iron pigment under clear glaze. Oribe ware became a staple of the Mino kilns from circa 1600, with the startup of the first new type of multi-chambered climbing kiln to be built in Mino at Motoyashiki. This ewer may have been made at the Kamagane kiln, which operated circa 1610-1635.

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 51.
  • Japan Ceramics Society. Oribe. Exh. cat. Tokyo, 5-17 May 1967. unnumbered.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, and Practice. London and New York. fig. 3.15.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Seto and Mino Ceramics. Washington and Honolulu, 1992. cat. 37, p. 110.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 123, p. 183.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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