Period: Late Jōmon period (ca. 2500–1000 B.C.)

Culture: Japan

Medium: Earthenware with incised decoration

Dimensions: H. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); Diam. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975

Accession Number: 1975.268.184


This small, bulbous-shaped bottle with narrow neck is typical of wares found at Late Jōmon sites in the Tōhoku region. While the southern and western parts of Japan were responding to foreign influences at this time, this area in northern Honshu became a center of traditional pottery production. Although the red pigment applied to the surface of this vessel is unusual, the sophisticated, incised decoration is typical. The small size of this bottle and its relatively simple, compact profile exemplify Late Jōmon ceramic-making trends, which reveal a declining interest in sculptural embellishment and elaborate decoration in favor of greater integration of ornamentation and form. The thin walls of the bottle indicate improvements made in potting methods. Flanking the shoulders and lower section are two sets of apertures, through which a thin cord could be threaded to suspend the container.