Following a period of self-imposed isolation, the Meiji era was a time of industrialisation and trade in Japan. The large size and opulence of this jar suggest it was made for export to Europe, which was experiencing a craze for things Japanese. Beneath a lid topped by a dancing hermit, one side of the vessel shows a samurai battle fought in 1590 between Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Hojo Ujimasa at Odawara. The other side depicts three Buddhist saints, rakan, modelled in high relief.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label