KACHOH ZU - SETSUBOKU (handcrafted)

This is limited edition only available in autumn and winter 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)

SETSU of this name means snow, and BOKU means wood in Japanese. As this name indicates, white snow is piled up on the cypress branches. Though the scene indicates a severe winter in Japan, a woodpecker settles on the thick cypress tree trunk, withstanding the cold. The earthenware texture of the bowl and its glaze add to the elegant atmosphere. Houitsu's work is well described, expressing the beauty and elegance of wood and bird in a snowy landscape.

The white snow is elaborately and beautifully painted on this bowl. Snow piled on the tree branches tells us that it is a severe winter in Japan. The brown cypress tree, and its green leaves accent the white color landscape. Dynamic swirls of snow emphasize the beauty of this winter scene. A woodpecker settles on the tree trunk calmly in the cold weather, evoking joy and life, even in the midst of winter. The thick trunk of the cypress tree expresses the strength of nature.

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 screens and hanging scrolls, it is very difficult to use this technique on a ceramic bowl, but its faithful reproduction of Houitsu's work expresses the realistic image of a cypress tree. Technically painted trunk with the use of golden and green colors have a texture close to the appearance of a genuine tree.

Several techniques enhance this bowl's 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. White snow is decorated elegantly with rugged paint, and it also accelerates the three-dimensional image. In the inside of the bowl, a cypress branch 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. The tree trunk and the feathers of the woodpecker are decorated with golden color. Golden color is abundantly used; it is not too ostentatious, but naturally, elegantly and gracefully painted.

The harsh and snowy landscape illustrated on this bowl evokes the beauty of nature and its vitality. The warm atmosphere is well expressed by the expert techniques of Zenshoh Yamaoka. Once you pour Matcha into this bowl, the Japanese winter scenery will wrap the Matcha in soft warmth, and will enrich the taste of the Matcha.




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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.

Customer Review

No. Author Country Rating Read Date Added
01. shepard morrow United States
373 12/13/2020
02. David Wilsey United States
930 01/11/2017

Current Reviews: 2 

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