KURO CHAWAN - SHINKOH (handcrafted Matcha Bowl)

This is limited edition only available from October 2017 to September 2018.

(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: 4.13inch (10.5cm) height: 2.95inch (7.5cm), standard Matcha bowl size
Sophisticated Kyo Yaki (Kyoto Style)
Made by Kyoshitsu Sasaki at Kirai kiln

This KURO CHAWAN is quite unique work, which is made with an avant-garde spirit while strictly adhering to traditional Raku-yaki techniques. SHINKOH means extraordinarily auspicious in Japanese. This bowl is characterized by the fresh and vivid color contrast on the surface. Each color is well-harmonized and evokes a modern and sophisticated atmosphere; it is a work of art. Conversely, the inside of this bowl is simply all black like traditional Kuro-raku black Raku-yaki. You will be captivated and fascinated by the dark jet black, which seems almost endless, as though you have travelled beyond our solar system and into deep space.

This bowl was modeled after the work of Keinyuh, the 11th head of the Raku family, who strived to produce original and novel works in the midst of turbulent times. We can feel the fusion of traditional dignity of Raku-yaki and modern creativity in this Matcha bowl.

This Matcha bowl is made by Kyoshitsu Sasaki at Kirai kiln. Kyoshitsu Sasaki is the fourth head of Shouraku kiln. Shouraku kiln, which opened in 1903, is one of the most traditional Raku-yaki kilns in Kyoto. Raku-yaki is the highest grade Matcha bowl used for the tea ceremony in Japan.(For details of Raku-yaki: RAKU YAKI - Prestigious bowl page)

The name of "Kyoshitsu" and "Kirai" are from Daitokuji temple, which was erected in 1325. The temple has been a great influence on Japanese culture and Cha-no-yu traditional tea ceremony, since the spirit of Cha-no-yu is based in Zen philosophy. It is also said that Juko Murata or Sen no Rikyuh, who is the famous tea master and pioneer of the tea ceremony, maintained close relations with Daitokuji temple.

The appeal of this KURO CHAWAN is the fresh and vivid color contrast. Although this bowl has many colors, each color is well-harmonized and gives a feeling of balance and sophistication. The glaze containing cobalt oxide creates the light blue color, and transparent glaze is used in the beige areas. In order to produce such a bright color, the glaze containing minerals is used for Raku-yaki since colors painted by mineral pigments easily fade in the high temperature Raku-yaki kiln. In addition, traditional black glaze is boldly used on the top, and coats the whole inside. It's as if we see another work when viewing inside and outside. The white points on the black glaze also emphasize the modern and sophisticated impression. You will be captivated by the profoundness of this work.

This KURO CHAWAN was modeled after the work of Keinyuh who was the 11th head of the Raku family in the 19th century. Keinyuh had strived to produce original and novel works and brought attention to Raku-yaki when various western customs came into Japan due to the Meiji Restoration, and traditional Japanese culture like Cha-no-yu was being lost. You will feel his mind and conflict resisting the generational changes and decline of Cha-no-yu or Japanese culture from this work.

The technique called TSUCHIMISE, which means “show the clay” in Japanese, is used for the bottom of this bowl. This TSUCHIMISE technique is rarely seen in the representative works of Raku-yaki in their long history. The bottom side is quite thinly glazed, and therefore we can enjoy the texture and color of the clay itself. It has a rough texture and some cracks caused by sudden change of temperature when this bowl is taken out from the kiln. Its appearance is quite simple and natural, in contrast to the modern and sophisticated style found elsewhere on this work.

The rim is carefully and elaborately formed by skilled hands. For example, the rim is not flat but uneven, which is seen in traditional Raku-yaki. And the size is just a little smaller than the typical Matcha bowl and quite simple. Its form and size fit perfectly into both hands when drinking Matcha. These features consolidate the gentle and warm impression of this work against its bold and unconventional style.

You can see the small dots like pinholes on the surface of the black glaze. The dots are from the bubbling of the glaze, which occurs when it is fired at a high temperature. These are evidence that this piece was created by traditional Raku-yaki methods.

In addition to this, it is said that the base of Raku-yaki is not stable on the table, because Raku-yaki is produced only for tea and is intended for use on TATAMI traditional straw mats. You can feel the excellence of transmissible techniques from this bowl.

Raku-yaki has a water-absorbing property. If used regularly over a long period of time, the aesthetic of the surface gradually changes. It is also a feature of using Raku-yaki that the atmosphere becomes more WABI SABI. Please enjoy your green moment with this Matcha bowl, which is infused with traditional dignity and modern creativity!

Specially packaged in a wooden box.
Lead-free. Made in Japan.
Free shipping on all tea ware items!
(Please note that each piece is unique due to the techniques employed by the artisan. There are natural variations in each piece.)




FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING on all orders of US$36.00 or more.

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Kyoshitsu Sasaki

Kyoshitsu Sasaki was born in Kameoka city, Kyoto in 1964. He entered Kyoto city Dohda senior high school of art in 1980, Osaka university of art in 1983, and Kyoto prefectural vocational training school of ceramics in 1985. He then studied and worked under his father, Teruo Sasaki, who is the third head of Shouraku kiln. In 2011, he succeeded to Kyoshitsu the second.

The Sasaki family is well-known for their traditional Raku-yaki at Shouraku kiln. Shouraku kiln opened in 1903, and is one of the most traditional Raku-yaki kilns in Kyoto. Kyoshitsu Sasaki is the fourth head of Shouraku kiln. In 1995, the third potter of Shouraku kiln, Teruo Sasaki opened a kiln under the name of "Kirai" and the name of "Kyoshitsu" was given by the fourteenth chief administrator of Daitokuji temple, Settei Fukutomi Roushi master. Kirai kiln produces avant-garde and novel works which are not restricted by traditional style, while still adhering to traditional Raku-yaki techniques. Shouraku kiln, on the other hand, strictly follows the footsteps and traditional methods of Raku-yaki.


- Raku Yaki has a water-absorbing property, so it is possible for this ceramic to retain and "sweat" small amounts of water.
- Before using Raku Yaki for the first time, please soak in lukewarm water for one or two minutes. Before reusing after it has been stored long term, please soak for thirty seconds. This process helps to keep Raku Yaki strong and durable as well as clean and stain-resistant.
- It is best to wash the Raku Yaki using only tepid water.
- If necessary, you may occasionally use a mild chlorine-free dish washing detergent.
- Do not sterilize by boiling, washing with chlorine detergent, or in a dish washing machine.
- In case of using this as a dish, don't serve foods that have been made with sweetened vinegar.
he vinegar may damage the glaze. - Take care not to hit the bowl against a hard surface or give it a strong shock.
- Before you store Raku Yaki in its wooden box for long tem, dry off fully in the shae for 4 to 7 days. Otherwise, if the clay remains wet while it is packed away in a box, there is a possibility for the Raku Yaki to take on an unusual earthy odor or even for mold to form.
- If Raku Yaki takes on an unusual earthy odor, you can remove the odor by continuing to use Raku Yaki every day for a week.

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