A Shigaraki freshwater jar (mizusashi) by Ueda Naokata IV (1898-1975) with fantastic ash glaze. On a short circular bulging base sits a rectangular shaped body, closed by a flat lid with a knob made of a strip of clay. The walls are decorated with cut markings typical for old Shigaraki ware. The orange clay contains a large amount of white quartz particles and covered by a thick copper green natural ash glazes running down the vessel's walls in long streams.
The fitted wooden box of this work is double inscribed. The inscription on the outside is by Naokata himself and reads: "Shigaraki old kiln, Toshin-an Naokata" (Shigaraki koyō Toshin-an Naokata). Inside of 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 堀内宗完 (1919-2015): "Shigaraki fresh water jar with square mouth" (Shigaraki shihō-guchi mizusashi).
The Ueda family is along with the Takahashi family the oldest potter family in Shigaraki and largely responsible for preserving the old technique, especially after the second world war. The family has a long tradition as potters starting their business with Ueda Naokata I, who lived 1805-1891. Ueda Naokata IV succeeded his father the third Ueda in 1931 and has been the first designated 'Intangible Cultural Property' of Shiga prefecture.