A Stoneware Tea Caddy (Chaire) Known As Izayoi**
Seto ware, Muromachi period (16th century)
The compressed ovoid caddy with rolled lip applied with an iron glaze ending above the foot, the glaze deep brown with suffusions of black and several kiln blisters, foot unglazed; fitted with an ivory cover and accompanied by a cylindrical ivory container and brocade bags
2 5/16in. (5.9cm.) high
With a related poem by Kogetsu Sogan (1574-1643) mounted as a hanging scroll:
Kogo ni iwaku, tendo wa mitsuru o henzu.
Kishin wa mitsuru o sokonai, jindo mitsuru o akutosu.
Kedashi motte mitazushite yoshi to nasu. Sonori shirubeshi.
Tsuki michitewa soku kanarazu kaku.
Shoko shoketsuseru o motte izayoi to nashi, chinamini jurokuji o sirusu.
Kochu no tenchi betsuni tsuki aru monoka,
Kashin migozuki unku ni izu
Koyoi aratame kono ikizu o miru
Commenting on the name "Izayoi" (16th night), the 17th-century tea master Kogetsu Sogan points out that the caddy has a minor imperfection and that is why it does not bear a name suggesting the full moon. Izayoi refers to the moon on the sixteenth night of the month, the waning moon.
Kogetsu Sogan, the 156th head monk of Daitokuji temple, built the Ryukoin temple in 1606 and opened the Kohoan, the temple's garden, at the request of feudal lord and tea master Kobori Enshu (1579-1647).