UEDA NAOKATA IV 四代 上田直方 (1898-1975)

Shigaraki Fresh Water Jar with Appraisal by 12th Head of the Horinouchi family, Horinouchi Sōkan 堀内宗完 (1919-2015)

Inv. Nr. #20.018
Date 1960s
Material Ash glazed stoneware
Dimensions H 18,2 x W 15,5 x D 15,5 cm

Comes with signed, sealed and inscribed wooden box. With appraisal by Horinouchi Sōkan (1919-2015).

Price: EUR 6,500

An important, dreamlike Shigaraki fresh water jar (mizusashi) by Ueda Naokata IV (1898-1975) with a fantastic ash glaze. A rectangular body sits on a short circular bulging base and is closed by a flat lid with a knob made of a bent strip of clay. The walls are decorated with cut marks. The orange clay contains a large amount of white quartz particles and is covered with a thick copper-green glaze of natural ash that runs down the walls in long streams. Some of the ash collects in a large green pond at one edge of the lid. The contrasting gray ash glaze on the bottom of the piece is simply stunning.


The fitted wooden box of this piece is doubly inscribed. The inscription on the outside is by Naokata himself and reads: "Shigaraki old kiln, Toshin-an [kiln] Naokata" (Shigaraki koyō Toshin-an Naokata). Inside the lid of the wooden box is an appraisal written by the 12th head of the Horinouchi family (a famous branch of the Urasenke tea ceremony school dating back to the 17th century), Horinouchi Sōkan (1919-2015): "Shigaraki freshwater jar with square mouth" (Shigaraki shihō-guchi mizusashi), marking this work as an important tea ceremony item. 


The Ueda family, along with the Takahashi family, is the oldest pottery family in Shigaraki and is largely responsible for preserving the old technique, especially after World War II. The family has a long tradition as potters, starting with Ueda Naokata I (1805-1891). Ueda Naokata IV succeeded his father, the third Ueda, in 1931 and was the first to be designated an "Intangible Cultural Property" of Shiga Prefecture.