The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.

Heian Period Sue-ware Pottery Jar, Frankenstein

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1700: Item # 1478869
The Kura
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A yobitsugi Jar made up of various excavated kiln shards of central Japan dating from the Heian period (794–1185). It is roughly 32 cm diameter, the same height. Looking at the volume of debris and encrustations, it is likely that the upper most part of this tsubo, which is one piece, was buried in a kiln collapse, earth and stone fusing to the molten ash. During the Heian period, hole kilns were dug into hillsides, with a chimney bored down into the back. Sometimes during firing, or after repeated use, the earth above would weaken and collapse upon the contents, burying all. Unusable, the site would be abandoned and another hole kiln dug alongside or at the next available site, leaving the shattered contents to be excavated a millennia later. Assembling these parts into Wabi-sabi jars or bowls became popular from the mid Edo period in a style known as Yobitsugi (literally called together and attached). To the contemporary viewer it is an example of the simple beauty of random effects produced by a wood-fired kiln as well as a unique view into the Japanese mindset of serenity found in the accidental and ephemeral.