Important Cultural PropertyJug for drinking water

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  • 1 piece
  • Cast copper alloy (with tin, lead and zinc)
  • Total H33.2 body D14.0
  • Asuka-Nara period/7-8th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-245

Jouhei literally means a water bottle for pure water, not meaning a specific type of water bottle. However, the word came to be used as a name for a water bottle with a spout for pouring water on the shoulder and a thin pipe on the top of the neck. Different from usual types like a kettle or a teapot, the use of this type of bottle was unique as water is poured from the spout on the shoulder and is drunk directly from the thin pipe on the top.
The same type of bottle could be seen in ancient India. In East Asia, many ceramic or metal bottles of this type were produced during the Chinese Tang Dynasty period and the Goryeo period on the Korean Peninsula. In Shôsôin (The Imperial Repository) and Hôryû-ji Temple, a uniquely decorated bottle of this type, with a mouth on the shoulder that was shaped into a human face, has been handed down.
This bottle was cast as one piece, including its bottom plate, except for the spout and the thin pipe on the top, which were jointed. Its curved surface is smoothed by spin finishing and shows a graceful figure, which makes good use of the characteristics of turnery. From the casting process and the finishing state of the turnery, this bottle may have been produced in China.