Omuro ware freshwater jar for the tea ceremony

Artist: Nonomura Ninsei (active ca. 1646-77)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 17th century
Stoneware clay with iron and rice-straw ash glazes; lacquered wooden lid
H x W x D (overall): 19.5 x 18.6 x 15.1 cm (7 11/16 x 7 5/16 x 5 15/16 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto, Omuro kiln
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea ceremony water jar (mizusashi)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Omuro ware, stoneware, tea, water, WWII-era provenance

Yamada Takeji, Kobe, Japan [1]

To 1998
Takashi Yanagi, Kyoto, to 1998

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Takashi Yanagi in1998


[1] The object was included in an exhibition of Yamada Takeji's collection, held at the Osaka Municipal Art Museum, the Tokugawa Art Museum, and the Nezu Art Museum in 1967, and in a publication, Shoki Kyoyaki, later translated as Masahiko Sato, Arts of Japan 2, Kyoto Ceramics (N.Y., Tokyo: Weatherhill/Shibundo, 1973). See Curatorial Note 3, Louise Cort, 5 January 1998, in the object record.

Previous Owner(s)

Takashi Yanagi
Yamada Takeji


Nonomura Ninsei can be counted in the handful of Japanese ceramic artists known by name, along with Chojiro and Kenzan, who have exerted the most profound and lasting influence on the development of Japanese ceramics. Ninsei represents the essence of Kyoto ceramics: he absorbed and reinterpreted all the major trends and tastes of his time, and his work had a polish and finesse characteristic of most crafts made in the old imperial capital.

This intellectually complex jar (just the sort that Kyoto tea masters loved) looks back to influential Japanese ceramics of the late sixteenth century.

Published References
  • Sekai toji zenshu [Catalogue of the World's Ceramics]. 19 vols., Tokyo, 1976-1982. cat. 133.
  • Nonomura Ninsei ten [Nonomura Ninsei Exhibition]. Exh. cat. Kanazawa City, Japan. cat. 101.
  • Mizusashi [Tea-Ceremony Water Jars]: Chaseki no Suiki: Heisei 7-nen shuki tokubetsuten. Exh. cat. Kyoto. cat. 62.
  • Ninsei no chawan [Ninsei's Teabowls]. Kansho Shirizu, no. 7 Tokyo. p. 50.
  • Oka Yoshiko. Ninsei to Kenzan—sono katachi to moyo [Ninsei and Kenzan—form and decoration]. vol. 29 Kyoto, 2014. p. 86, fig. 7.
  • Oka Yoshiko. Kokuho Ninsei no nazo. Tokyo. p. 152, fig. 12.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 308-309.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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