Tobacco Leaf Mizusashi

Tobacco Leaf Mizusashi

Learning From our Predecessors’ Aesthetic Sense
Maiolica Pottery to Dutch Tobacco Mizusashi

In the Edo period, after the shogunate closed the country to free trade, international trade was only allowed at Dejime Island near Nagasaki, to where the Dutch East India Company brought goods from all over Europe to Japan. The main trade goods were silk and spices, but Maiolica pottery made throughout Europe was brought as a private trade good. As Maiolica was a soft pottery glazed with tin and lead, various containers were selected as tea utensils. Especially pottery with large leaves glazed half in blue and half in yellow were happily called by tea men “Dutch Tobacco (Picture)” or “Tobacco Leaf”. The containers that were usually used as mizusashi were actually medicine jars. Once, on a pirate ship at a certain amusement park, I noticed a narrow Dutch tobacco mizusashi on the kitchen shelf. But it was a container for holding dry spaghetti. Just like that, it seems that not just trade goods entered Japan, but also everyday tools did too.

コラム
先人に学ぶ見立ての美意識
(元)マジョリカ陶器⇒オランダ莨水指
江戸幕府は鎖国後、長崎の出島のみで海外貿易を許し、オランダ東インド会社がヨーロッパ各地の品々を日本にもたらしました。主な交易品は絹や香料でしたが、脇荷としてヨーロッパ各地で作られていたマジョリカ陶器がありました。マジョリカ陶器は錫(すず)釉と鉛(たまり)釉が掛けられた軟質陶器で、様々な器が茶道具に見立てられています。中でも大きな葉が黄色と青色に半分ずつ掛け分けられた物を、茶人は「オランダ莨(絵)」「莨葉」と称して喜びました。普通の水指位の物は錠剤容器と言われています。以前、某遊園地の海賊船で、台所の壁の棚にオランダ莨の細水指を見つけましたが、おれはスパッゲティの乾麺容器でした。このように貿易品の容器としてのみならず、日常雑器としても到来したのかもしれません。

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