KACHOH ZU - SAKURA (handcrafted)

This is limited edition only available in spring and summer season.

(Please note:Because this item is usually made-to-order, it may possibly take approximately 3 weeks from the time you order this item until the date it is shipped from Kyoto, Japan. Once ordered, any order change or cancellation cannot be accepted. If you order this item with other items, they will be shipped together.)

diameter: 4.33inch (11cm) height: 3.14inch (8cm), standard matcha bowl size
Sophisticated Kyo Yaki (Kyoto Style)
Made by Zenshoh Yamaoka at Zenshoh Kiln

RINPA is one of the major historical schools of Japanese painting, which flourished in the 17th century in Kyoto. "RIN" means the beautiful beads, and "PA" means school, so all works in RINPA are focusing on colorful and elegant expression. RINPA is also known as one of the arts which express more unique Japanese sensitivity in Japanese modern art.

We, Hibiki-an have collaborated with Zenshoh Yamaoka, who is the leading expert of paintings derived from masterpieces in the middle ages and acclaimed Kyo Yaki artisan, to release a series of Matcha bowls featuring RINPA paintings. Zenshoh Yamaoka chose JUNIKAGETSU KACHOU ZU, which is composed of twelve hanging scrolls. Each painting is well decorated by his unique sense.

Houitsu Sakai (1761 - 1828), who was part of the third generation of RINPA, indurated RINPA in the Edo period. He is well known for his realistic description of birds, grasses and flowers, which he paints lively and elegantly. One of his most famous works is JUNIKAGETSU KACHOU ZU, "Flowers and Birds of the Twelve Months" in English. He painted twelve scenes of nature which are suitable for each month of the year in each hanging scroll, when he was 62 years old. Well-balanced layout and clear coloring pattern attract our attention. It is often said that this scroll is the most valuable among all paintings of flowers and birds in the Middle Ages in Japan, because it truly creates an immersive visual experience for the viewer. (RINPA Matcha Bowls + Cups page)

This bowl luxuriously expresses the contrast and the harmony of the elegance and the strength of the cherry blossom tree, and the layout of this bowl enhances its beauty. The cherry blossom tree is painted elaborately and strongly, and the contrast in the layout and the color increases its realistic depiction. Texture of the bowl and its glaze also add to the elegant atmosphere. The expression of Houitsu’s work is well described.

The cherry blossom tree is decorated with a powerful touch, and its dynamic layout emphasizes its strength. Conversely, white color of petals and buds, and red color of leaves are delicately painted. This contrast leads to the realistic description of the cherry blossom tree. A pheasant adds balance and another layer of visual interest.

Adding to its contrast, one of the key RINPA techniques, called TARASHIKOMI is used on the trunk and leaves. TARASHIKOMI is when colors are dripped into not-fully dried ink. Coincidental effect of blur makes unique and unforeseeable coloring. Different from folding screen and hanging scroll, it is very difficult to use its technique on a ceramic bowl, but its faithful reproduction of Houitsu’s work expresses realistic image of cherry blossom. Technically painted trunk and leaves with the use of golden and green color have a texture close to the appearance of the genuine cherry blossom tree.

Some techniques not only make this bowl but also enhance its three-dimensional effect. Earthenware color of texture, which is called KENZAN, gives the bowl a warm atmosphere. The texture has complicated uneven surfaces, causing the three-dimensional effect to the bowl. Not only the texture but also painting expresses its effect. Petals and buds are decorated elegantly with rugged paint, and it also accelerates the three-dimensional image. In the inside of the bowl, branch of cherry blossom is painted, and it gives depth perception to the Matcha bowl.

The use of golden color has a deep effect. Clouds are frequently used in Japanese traditional painting to separate and define space and time. The use of golden clouds makes this Matcha bowl bright and luxurious. Feather of pheasant and tree trunk and vein of cherry blossom leaves are decorated with golden color. Golden color is abundantly used; it is not too ostentatious, but naturally, elegantly and gracefully painted on the bowl.

Zenshoh Yamaoka aims to understand the intention of Houitsu’s work very well, and expresses it on the bowl elegantly. Please enjoy Matcha tea time immersed in this beautiful painting, under the branches of a cherry blossom tree.




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Zenshoh Yamaoka

Zenshoh Yamaoka was born in 1942. He worked under Zenjiroh Ueyama for 10 years, and then opened his own Zenshoh kiln in 1969.
His paintings derived from masterpieces in the middle ages are excellent. It is said his precise drawing techniques are in a class of their own. Indeed, he was officially designated as a traditional craftsman by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2002. His sophisticated, exquisite, elegant, and advanced drawing techniques receive high acclaim in the Kyo Yaki pottery industry.


- It is best to wash this item using only tepid water or mild chlorine-free dish washing detergent.
- If necessary, you may occasionally use a chlorine detergent.
- Do not sterilize by boiling, or in a dish washing machine.

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