Tea caddy

DATE: 18-19th century (made)
PLACE: Takatori (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Glazed stoneware, red lacquer repairs and turned paulownia wood lid

Following military campaigns in Korea during the 16th century, craftspeople were forced to relocate to Japan to continue producing for the Daimyo (feudal Lords). Settling in the Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū at the base of Mount Takatori between 1600-1606, the Takatori kiln has been producing high quality teawares for over 400 years, although the location has moved at least 5 times over the course of its history. The simple and rustic pieces produced followed the demand for wabi-cha (simplistic tea ceremony items), with potters perfecting a decorative glaze known as kirei-sabi, translating as ‘lustrous refinement’ or ‘refined patina’. The resulting glossy yet rustic appearance on their teawares was highly valued by the tea master Kobori Enshu and, in the 19th century, the Takatori kiln became known as one of the seven famous kilns of Enshu.