A late Edo - early Meiji tokkuri (sake flask) from the Hokuriku (central west coast) of Japan. H.24cm (9.5",) Body Dia. 16cm (6.25".) Probably fired in one of the no longer existent kilns of what is now Niigata Prefecture, this tokkuri has a rich yellowish-brown glaze which has experienced a nice crazing over time. Although from central Japan, the glaze and somewhat refined shape are reminiscent of Yatsushiro ware from Kumamoto in Kyushu. It is a folk piece, but at the same time has a wonderful elegance about it.
Tokkuri were standard vessels for the transport and sale of sake until the use of glass bottles became common. Basically, they were the sake "bottle" of their era, but with much more regional variety and aesthetic flavor.