Traditional matcha tea bowl for use in the tea ceremony. Tea bowls used for tea ceremony practice are preferred to have traditional shapes and motifs. They often are imitations of famous tea bowls that were selected as preferred and valued vessels by the tea masters of old. The description of such bowls is often divided into shape, and style or motif. Shapes often resemble ‘everyday’ objects that have a significance in Japanese culture. Motifs are commonly preferred applications and styles of craftsmanship.
Cultural significance of the bowl in question:
Shape: rice-bale (tawara-de; 俵手). The shape of this bowl is an imitation of the traditional rice-bales that were used as methods of payment for the ancient warrior families. Therefore this shape is seen as a token of wealth and prosperity and is used as a good luck charm.
Motif: yellow irabo (ki-irabo; 黄伊羅保). Irabo refers to the type of glaze used, made from soil and ash. This glaze results in a somewhat rougher surface and depending on the composition turns either brown-grey, or yellow-brown.
Tea bowl size: D14.5cm x H7.5cm
Packaging: cardboard box
About the artist: Yohei Nakamura
Born in Kyoto in 1950. Graduated from the Kyoto Prefectural Ceramists’ Technical Institute in 1965; entered apprenticeship with pottery master Josui Katō. Received the mayor’s prize at the traditional industries fair in 1966. Received the Kyoto Association of Ceramics prize in 1970. Received the mayor’s prize at the Sumie exhibition in Tokyo in 1971. Received the director’s prize at the Kyoto Cooperative of Ceramics’ Kyo-yaki/Kiyomizu-yaki exhibition in 1983. And received the Mayor’s prize at the pottery figures and ceramics exhibition the same year.