Porcelain with overglaze colored enamels (Arita ware)
11 x 9 1/2 in. (28 x 24.1 cm)
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Japanese porcelains were first developed in the early seventeenth century, near the town of Arita in northern Kyushu, by Korean immigrant potters who discovered porcelain clay in that area. The earliest wares were decorated with Chinese-style designs painted in underglaze blue. The invention of polychrome overglaze decoration by Sakaida Kakiemon about 1650 was a singular achievement in Japanese ceramics. This small jar is an excellent example of this technique, and is unusual in its use of red, green, and yellow enamels.