A Large, Rustic Antique Lacquered Sake Vessel: Katakuchi from Iwate Prefecture

$495.00 USD

late nineteenth century
5 3/4" x 8 3/4" x 10 1/2", 14.5 cm x 22.25 cm x 26.5 cm

This large, lacquered sake pouring vessel or katakuchi was produced in Iwate prefecture and is referred to as Johoji nuri or Johoji lacquer. The sap used to make this lacquerware is produced in this area of Iwate prefecture.

As this type of lacquer ware is renowned in Japan, legend surrounds it.

It is said that lacquerware of this type was first made by monks for their own use at Hachiyozan Tendaiji temple in the eighth century.

Monks would offer the lacquerware to visitors to the temple and, according to lore, over time the production techniques were introduced to the local population. This type of highly distinctive lacquer ware is inextricably associated with Hachiyozan Tendaiji temple and northern Iwate prefecture.

The large spouted vessel is capable of holding a great volume of sake.

Judging from the wear and abrasion to the lacquered surface it is clear this was used over a long period of time. As well, as can be seen where the spout meets the body of the katakuchi, there is repair: no doubt at some point the spout was broken off and reattached.

This is a marvelous type of folk object--and its impressive size and volume beautifully dominates the space it occupies. 

It is a beauty.