I have been enjoying this AKEBONO Hohin Set for a couple of months now and must say I am extremely delighted I decided to purchase this. I really love using a Hohin Set! At first they were intimidating to me and seemed like something I just did not need, but now I admit I have 2 sets and don't regret a thing because they offer something beyond words during my personal moments when I quietly use mine, alone, to definitely enjoy the highest grades of Uji Tea offered by HIBIKI-AN, but to also, indeed, "nurse my Soul." In contrast to my first Hohin Set from HIBIKI-AN, which is decorated with a wave pattern, this set is quite modest in appearance but the feeling and atmosphere it allows is supremely calm. It simply just does not need anything else besides the glazing technique used by the Artist. The cleanly cut-out triangle detail is intriguing to me and makes me think. That alone is enough added embellishment for me on this! Honestly, I could go on and on about how awesome this Hohin is to me personally but I feel it just really needs to be experienced in person. If you observe the photos, you'll see tiny little crackles in the clear glaze over the pale, slightly blue-tinged grey color. These crackles are tiny and extremely subtle but during quiet contemplation they will catch the light and spark, glisten, and shine. Very lovely! This set really does feel as calm as a new day dawning, and it's quite appropriately named. At the same Time, it also can feel more like the Sun setting and the day quietly drawing to a close, relieving you of all your duties, leaving you calm, quietly- in Peace. "Empyrean" is Truly the definitive word in regards to all aspects that viewing and using this handcrafted Tea Set brings me.
(Empyrean- Archaic: composed of fire. The highest reaches of heaven, believed by the ancients to be a realm of pure fire or light and by early Christians to be the abode of God and the angels; paradise. Heavenly/Sublime.
Poetic: The heavens or sky/of or relating to the sky, the heavens, or the empyrean of ancient belief.)
HIBIKI-AN's description of this set is wonderful and quite educational. It prompted me to look further into the writings in The Pillow Book and I was so delighted to read much of it! It's a personal take on History that was not really ever intended to be seen by others, it was more like a diary, so it is very candid and extremely touching in it's Author's total personal Honesty and Humor. It's so great to be able to read "un-polished" Historical writings and musings!
In short, I feel there is no better brewing vessel for the recent Limited Competition Grade Teas (especially the Gyokuro for me) as well as their Pinnacle Grades!