Life in the Middle Ages Utensils used for food: Ceramic ware

FromFriday, February 21, 2020

Many of the artifacts excavated from the remains of the middle ages are similar to the utensils that we are using in our daily life. They are bowls and dishes to serve food, pans and pots used for cooking, earthenware mortars for grinding, pots and jars to store water and grain. At the first glance we can easily imagine the purpose of each piece of ceramic ware.
In addition to the locally produced unglazed earthenware, people used wares from the pottery industry regions, such as Seto and Tokoname, which started production around the end of the Heian period. The pottery fired at high temperatures in a kiln is robust and highly durable. Accordingly, it was introduced into everyday life and spread to all corners of the country: For example, pots and jars were used as multipurpose storage containers, and mortars as all-purpose cooking utensils. Moreover, using local products together with widely distributed products, including ceramics imported from China, such as celadon and white porcelain, diverse combinations were created so as to meet various social or living styles in urban communities or farm villages. The utensils used in dietary life were made up of such a wide variety of pieces.
In any period, meals are at the center of people’s life, accompanied by dinnerware lending flair to the dining table and serving as useful cooking utensils. This exhibition introduces the ceramic ware of the middle ages, which can be regarded as the original forms of such items.
All of the pieces introduced here are materials in the possession of the Saitama Prefectural Board of Education.






















Unglazed earthenware (End of the 15th century)                                    Locally produced spouted bowl (First half of the 15th century)
Mouth D.(10.4)-11.7 cm, H.3.2-3.7 cm                                                     Mouth D.30.2 cm, H.(12.5) cm












Locally produced earthen pan (Second half of the 15th century)       Locally produced earthen pot  (Second half of the 15th century)
Mouth D.35.4 cm, H.6.3 cm                                                                Mouth D.13.6 cm, H.28.3 cm















  Large jar, Tokoname Ware (Mid-13th century)
  Mouth D.44.5 cm, Base D.19.2 cm, H.70.1 cm


The Manual Industry of Middle Ages3 Pottery

FromFriday, February 22, 2019 toSunday, October 20
With plenty of suitable soil, the first earthenware in Japan was made more than 16,000 years ago. Through the introduction of techniques from China and Korea, sueki (unglazed reduction fired pottery) was invented during the middle of Kofun period (about 400 AD). The productionof ash-glazed ceramics and low-temperature lead-glazed sancai (three-colored) pottery began during the Nara period (710–794). It became fashionable to use bright, colorful glazes for pottery. The Seto and Mino Regions of Aichi became the main sites of ash-glazed ceramic production, and these ceramic products became the most popular.