Haji ware

I just bought a new set of books. There are 22 volumes in the set, it was printed in 1977 or so. The name of the series is 世界陶磁全集、it is printed by 小学館。 The name in English is something like A Survey of World Ceramics. It is heavily weighted towards Japanese ceramics.

The second volume focuses on the 8th. through about the 13th. century. The following photos are of a piece of Haji ware, second half of the 8th. century, dug up from an area around Osaka.

Reading from the description these types of pots are aimed towards  疫病神 = yaku byou gami. This doesn’t really translate well, or at least I can’t translate it well. Something like bad spirits, black magic spirits This pot was used for sending bad spirits away, putting them in the vessel and sending them on their way in a river.

It was also used for granting wishes to individuals.

The author of the description in the book thinks the areas these pots come from had heavy handed tax collectors and the locals mimicked the collectors facial features. Somewhat like voodoo but the point of the pots and the ritual was to get rid of the bad spirits, the bad feelings, send them on their way in water.

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