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Special Exhibition
Momoyama Tea Utensils: A New View
Saturday, October 20 - Sunday, December 16, 2018
Momoyama Tea Utensils: A New View
Closed Mondays
Hours 10 am to 5 pm(last entry: 4:30 pm. Entrance closes 30 min. before closing)
General admission Adult 1300 yen, Student 1000 yen
Gallery 1/2

Shigaraki, Bizen, and Iga, with their bold spatula cuts and distortions, Shino with forceful overglaze iron decoration floating on white glaze, Oribe with its variety of many shapes and refreshing glazes, Karatsu with its free expression of motifs: fascinating is the perfect word for these Momoyama tea utensils. Created in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, and named after that particular era, they brim with the compelling magnetism characteristic and not to be found in tea wares from China. That is why these Momoyama ceramics have come to exemplify Japanese ceramics.
 The Nezu Museum of once held an exhibition introducing such Momoyama tea utensils in 1989. In the three decades since then, research has made significant progress. The most important discovery was the Sanjō ceramics dealers’ district in Kyoto and the merchants who operated those shops. Examining the results of excavations in that district has revealed that new distribution routes were formed in response to a changing, and growing, customer base for ceramics. That led in turn to the birth of tea utensils created with superior design sense, utensils that , even today, seem fresh and innovative.
 This exhibition presents artifacts excavated in Kyoto as well as tea utensils that have been handed down over the generations. Examining them in terms of production and distribution, we hope it offers the latest view of the world of Momoyama tea utensils.

Gallery Exhibits

CeramicsImportant Cultural Property
Tea Bowl, named Yamanoha
Mino ware, nezumi-shino type
Glazed stoneware
Japan Momoyama-Edo periods, 17th century
Nezu Museum
Nezumi-Shino is a sgraffito technique in which iron slip is applied to the surface of the piece and then designs are scratched through to the white body before applying a milky white ash-feldspar glaze. This superb Nezumi-Shino tea bowl decorated with hexagonal and brush fence motifs combines bold spatula cuts with an elegant glaze.
CeramicsImportant Cultural Property
Dish with Handle in the Shape of Zigzag Lozenge
Mino ware, oribe type
Glazed stoneware
Japan Momoyama-Edo periods, 17th century
Kitamura Museum
This dish in a zigzag lozenge shape has four feet attached. Oribe ceramics such as this in which red and white clays have been combined in their forming are known as Narumi Oribe. With its large handle, bold shape, and vivid contrasts between red, white, and green, this piece has a powerful presence.
CeramicsKyoto City Designated Cultural Asset
Shards Excavated in Kyoto City at Nakano-chō Site
Kyoto city
These shards of tea utensils were excavated from the Sanjō Nakano-chō site in Kyoto. The excavation and subsequent research have revealed that cluster selling ceramics had existed in this area in the early seventeenth century. More than 2000 ceramic artifacts, including oribe mukōzuke food dishes and Karatsu bowls, have been unearthed from Nakano-chō site.
Fresh Water Container
Iga ware
Japan Momoyama-Edo periods, 17th century
Private Collection
This piece is distinguished by an imposing form with a great air of stability and the powerful spatula cuts applied vertically to it. Its shape is accented by the gorgeous beauty of the glassy green glaze. The unique form of this container displays the distinctiveness of Iga ware.
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