Echizen, Tamba, Bizen and Tokoname shapes.

The pictures show a wide difference in roughly the same type of jar. The question I have is why such different shapes would evolve. The pictures are of roughly the same eras even though the time line ranges from the beginning of the 1200s. through the middle of the 1300s. There are minor differences in size but these are the closest comparisons I could find.  The “obvious” reason would seem to be differences in what they were used for. Another “obvious” reason would be the type of clay and the type of firing. The fuel would have been wood. I don’t believe coal was used or is a reasonable candidate.

Looking at the pictures the right side of the photo shows the profile of the thickness of the wall, the left side of the photo the outside profile. Bizen seems to have the finest clay with Echizen coming in as the roughest.

As I have been looking through the set of books I bought recently I have discovered the period from the late 11oos, the Heian period up through the middle 15o0s, the end of the Muromachi period is my favorite time frame for Japanese ceramics. The bigwigs in the early 20th. century were reproducing those works.

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