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Tea Leaf Jar, Studio of Ninsei/Moon and plum tree in overglaze enamel

Studio of NinseiEdo period, 17th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

Nonomura Ninsei is well known in the history of early modern Japanese pottery as a master of Omuroyaki, the kiln of which used to be located in front of Ninnaji Temple in Omuro, Kyoto. While the exact time when Omuroyaki began is still unknown, it is estimated to be around 1647. Ninsei's pottery with on-glaze decoration is known to have been completed by 1656 or 1657. Although Ninsei's common name was Seiemon, he used the name Ninsei since he was granted the seal of "Ninsei" from Ninnaji Temple and affixed it to his works.The core part of Ninsei's Omuroyaki is tea-related pottery, among which chatsubo (a jar where tea leaves were stored) jars are highly esteemed not only for their grand scale, but also for his high-quality on-glaze decoration. A total of ten chatsubo jars with on-glaze decoration currently exist including this one with a moon and plum motif. There is also one with a wisteria motif, two with a Mt. Yoshino motif, one with a poppy motif, one with a dragon motif, one with a bird motif, one with a motif of a carp going upstream, one with a mountain and pine tree motif and one with a mountain temple motif. Among these chatsubo jars, this one with a moon and plum motif and the one with a wisteria motif are of particular excellence.This jar has a tight mouth with a nicely treated rim (tamabuchi) and four lug handles around the neck. A smooth semi-transparent whitish glaze covers the jar from the mouth to near the bottom of the body, on which plum blossoms blooming under the full moon are depicted in gold, silver, red and green. Such representation resembles the generous style of the Kano school.The area from the lower part of the body to the flat bottom is unglazed and its earthen surface shows reddish burns. A large, oval-shaped seal of "Ninsei" is affixed on the left center of the bottom. This was purchased by the Tokyo National Museum in 1878 and the former designation as a national treasure was changed to an important cultural property in 1949.

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  • Title: Tea Leaf Jar, Studio of Ninsei/Moon and plum tree in overglaze enamel
  • Creator: Studio of Ninsei
  • Date Created: Edo period, 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: h299 mm
  • Object Title: 色絵月梅図茶壺
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 野々村仁清(ののむらにんせい)は京都御室(おむろ)仁和寺の門前にあった御室焼の名工として、近世の日本陶磁史にその名が高い。御室焼の創始期はいまなお明確ではないが正保4年(1647)頃と推定され、仁清による色絵陶器は明暦2、3年(1656、7)には完成していたことが知られている。仁清は俗称清右ヱ門であったが、仁和寺宮から「仁清」の印を拝領して作品に捺したことから仁清と称した。 仁清印御室焼の作品の主体をなすものは各種の茶陶であり、なかで葉茶の容器として調整された茶壺は大作であるばかりでなく、上絵付も優れていることから代表作として声価が高い。色絵の茶壺で現存するものはこの月梅図のほか、藤図、吉野山図(2点)、芥子図、竜図、烏図、鯉登竜門図、遠山若松図、山寺図の10点であるが、この月梅図の壺は藤図壺とともに形姿、絵付けともにもっとも完成度の高いものである。 引き締まった口部は玉縁とし、肩の四方に耳を配し、口部から胴裾ちかくまで先透性の白濁色の釉をなめらかにかけ、その上に金、銀、赤、緑などで満月の下に咲き香る紅梅の図を上絵付けしていて、その表現には狩野派の趣が窺われる。 胴裾から平らな底にかけては露胎で、土膚にはほのかに赤い焦げが生じ、底の左側中央に「仁清」の小判形大印が捺されている。明治11年(1878)に当館に購入されたものであり、昭和24年に旧国宝から重要文化財になった。
  • Object Date: 江戸時代・17世紀
  • Artist Name: 仁清
  • Type: Ceramic
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100518

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