Nitta (tea caddy)

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Nitta is a ceramic tea caddy (chaire) made in Southern Song Dynasty China, and later owned by Murata Shukô, Miyoshi Masanaga, Oda Nobunaga, Ôtomo Sôrin, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

The object is 8.6cm tall, and 7.9cm in diameter at its widest point. The top four-fifths of the vessel is covered in an iron-brown glaze which drips down on one side.

Luis Frois records how Sôrin treasured the object, and parted with it in 1585 only when under great political and economic pressure to do so. He sold it to Toyotomi Hideyoshi for 15,000 crowns[1]. Tokugawa Ieyasu acquired Nitta after recovering it from Osaka castle, and having it repaired with lacquer. The object remains extant today.


  • Morgan Pitelka. "Art, Agency, and Networks in the Career of Tokugawa Ieyasu." in A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, 459.
  1. According to Frois. It is unclear how much this was in Japanese denominations.