It all started from being a vessel of herbs and spices such as salt and ginger until it became an aesthetic display at home and now a very precious artifact of vintage that collectors have been investing a large amount of money in. It all started during the Qin dynasty in China. This porcelain jar has a round shape and a domed lid or a round decorated pot with a small mouth. It is said that it was discovered by the time the ginger trade between China and Western world became a chief export, wherein they used these jars as a storage of ginger. These jars are called “Ginger Jar” in the Western while in China it is called “Guan” and “Jar” in English.
Kutani Ware is an adaptation of a 350 year old tradition while doing some innovations. Back in the Edu period at the year of 1655 Toshiharu Maeda got interested in the discovered pottery stone, this is called the “KUTANI”. Since then the Kutani ware was established, by his order Saijiro Goto worked on to learn the pottery and the Kiln was established at the Kutani area. But after all the hardworks and successful Kutani ware (Ko-Kutani) pottery in the early 1700’s the Kiln was closed suddenly without a formal reason.
Kutani Area is now the popular land of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan, at the same land the rebirth of Kutani ware began. After hundreds of years since the unexpected close of Ko-Kutani a lot of Kiln was established to again blossom the colorful and unique designs of Kutani ware. These are Yoshida Kiln, Miyamotoya Kiln and Eiraku Kiln.
The rise to fame pumped up when they got the opportunity to represent Japanese pottery at the 1873 World Exposition exhibit. From then onwards the exportation of Kutani ware around the world started. They were known by the unique and colorful design of different six techniques such as Ko-Kutani and Mokubeifu feature green, Prussian blue, purple, red, and yellow, and are commonly referred to as Kutani gosai (“the five Kutani colors”). Yoshidayafu uses hues of blue, purple, Prussian blue, and yellow. Iidayafu boasts a distinctive shade of red. Eirakufu is a mix of gold and red.
Known as the Japan Kutani in other countries, in 2017 another ware under Kutani ware started to gain popularity. The Harekutani ware there mission is to bring Kutani ware to life in a casual manner. The combination of traditional Kutani Japanese paints and techniques together with the designs and shapes. They also use the traditional basic colors “Kutani Gosai”. Delivered to your door with an original charming box or wrapped in a Furoshiki wrapping, so it will also be perfect as a gift on any special occasions.
Kutani Ware Ginger Jar
Nowadays we can classify Ginger jars via motifs such as Blue and white ginger jars is the traditional, Famille verte ginger jars is from the 16th century with shades of color green while on the other hand is the Famille rose ginger jars is from the 18th century with shades of opaque pink shade, and Imari ginger jars is originated from Japan.
Imari ginger Jars from Japan get its name since Imari port became the export hub to Europeans from the 17th-19th centuries. They use hues such as blue, red, and gold tones for styles. They are also often associated with the Kangxi Period of porcelain production.
Ginger jars are always classified by their round shape and wide shoulders with small mouths. Their lids are traditionally domed that have no additional ornamentation. Still some mistakenly thought a Ginger Jar to a Temple Jar. The difference between the two is that the Temple jar usually has a protrusion decoration on top, round lid and bottom is more alike with fish tail shape.
As of now porcelain and ceramic maker of Kitchen ware and vase or jar are spread in Japan. Aside from Imari ware there are 32 other pottery makers and one of them is the Kutani ware from Ishikawa.
Here are some of Kutani ware Ginger Jar from Japan:
This is an antique porcelain ginger jar from Japan made in the c1920s. It's one of the rare to find because of its pumpkin shape and has three feet to support its stand that is not very usual with ginger jars with hues of white background and red hand painted garden scenes, beautiful Japanese ladies/geishas, wisteria and a mountain landscape. The lid is colored the same as the body to theme it up.
This is another vintage made by Kutani ware from Japan in the late 1950s or 1960’s. This is also one of rare items since it was hard to come by. It is an off white porcelain with a hand-painted cartouche. The color combinations used to design are Dark orange, green, blue, yellow, white and pink hand-painted flowers with Crackle glaze. Real gold was used to outline the edges of the vase and outline of the flowers.
This Kutani ginger jar has a metallic gold background that was from the year 1930s. The lid of this jar has metallic gold underglaze and heavy texturing while the front and back center of its body has a desame design of Geisha being served by its two servants. Floral and geometric designs, all textured, fill in the rest of the jar with different colors such as pink, yellow, white, green and aqua.
This small decorative ginger jar made by Kutani ware is about 4 inches tall and with a lid about 4.5 inches tall and about 4 inch diameter. It has White background with hand painted green, pink, and gold floral accents and together with two birds on a branch that is very pleasing on the eyes.
This pair of ginger jars from the 19th century is very pleasing. It has a very detailed hand painted design of flowers with golden guilt. The background is color white with a fill of metallic red hue that fills in and adds elegance to those golden guilt.
To make sure the authentic Kutani Ware they add markings at the bottom of each Kutani product. The markings are often painted but you may also find engraved and embossed marks at the bottom. However, some pieces only have the artist’s mark without a specific location. This can create confusion in finding the origin of the Kutani piece. The picture above is some illustration of different Kutani ware markings you may have found.