Unkaku Chawan – Matcha Tea Bowl by Yohei Nakamura

(1 customer review)

Hand crafted matcha tea bowl for the tea ceremony.
Traditional design by Yohei Nakamura.
Shape: square (shihō; 四方)
Motif: crane in the clouds (unkaku; 雲鶴)


Availability: In stock

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: square (shihō; 四方). Most tea bowls are rounded, but other shapes can give the bowl a completely different aesthetic value. Square or diamond shaped bowls were preferred by Kobori Enshu.

Motif: crane in the clouds (unkaku; 雲鶴). A crane floating in the sky between the clouds. One on each of the 4 sides of the bowl. Look at how they are slightly orientated differently.


Product specifications

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.

Weight451 g

1 review for Unkaku Chawan – Matcha Tea Bowl by Yohei Nakamura

  1. RJ (verified owner)

    This is the first all direction style bowl that I have owned, so I have nothing to truly compare it to. That said, it is a wonderful and interesting bowl!

    For use in making matcha, it is quite good. The foot and foot to rim ratio feels good in my small hands. The inside is bumpy, but smooth which is great not only for whisking, but preventing too much wear and tear on the chasen. I am not exactly sure of the proper way to drink from it, but I always use a corner (turned in a diamond shape) and it has worked out well for me. The rounded corners funnel both liquid and foam to the mouth quite nicely. The walls are thin so tea cools quickly, making it a great hot weather bowl.

    The motif is where the bowl really shines. It is speckled with pink spots (I believe it is gohonte) both inside and out. The outer design, which include the birds, repeating symbols, and lines, are all inset so you can feel every detail as you hold the cup. If you turn the cup clockwise, you get a little animated storyboard of a bird dipping up and down in flight amongst pink clouds. It is quite stunning, and so cute that it is very difficult to choose a best side to present a guest.

    It is really a delightful bowl in every way. Highly recommended for people looking for something a little different than usual.

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Unkaku Chawan – Matcha Tea Bowl by Yohei Nakamura

Availability: In stock