KOHAKU BAI ZU (handcrafted: 200ml)

This is limited edition only available in autumn and winter season.

Handcrafted teacup: 200ml (7.039fl oz), diameter: 3.14inches (8cm) height: 3.54inches (9cm)
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 tea cups featuring RINPA paintings. Zenshoh Yamaoka chose KOHAKU BAI ZU. Each painting is well decorated by his unique sense.

Kohrin Ogata (1658 - 1716) was born into a family of KIMONO fabric dealers in Kyoto. He was influenced by the beauty of lacquers and pottery made by Kouetsu Honami, and by the paintings of Soutatu Tawaraya, especially his unique composition and brush strokes. Kohrin Ogata learned how to paint by replicating the works of these master artisans.

KOHAKU BAI means red and white color UME plum. Plum, a traditional symbol of wintertime or early spring in Japan, is painted elegantly on the surface. Plum is a special auspicious flower in Japan because it is said that plum is the first to bloom of all spring flowers.

This teacup of KOHAKU BAI ZU has a unique contrasting expression. The river painted in black and gold flows from upstream to downstream. The red and white colors of the plum tree confront each other across the river. These contrasts are well designed, creating a noble and sublime atmosphere.

The red and white colors of the plum flowers gracefully bloom in each tree. Its color contrast is well reflected not only on the dark color plum trees but also on the golden glaze coating outside the teacup. The branches of the red plum tree stretch upward, evoking the image of youthful beauty. In contrast, a trunk of white plum drops, which creates mature beauty. The contrast between the dignified vitality from the white plum tree and the fresh, young energy from the red plum tree synergize the vitality.

One of the key RINPA techniques, called TARASHIKOMI is used on the trunk and branches. 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 teacup, but its faithful reproduction of Kohrin’s work expresses realistic image of plum trees. The technically painted trunk and branches with the use of golden color have a texture close to the appearance of the genuine plum trees.

The river is also one of the focal points on this Yunomi teacup. The river, which is colored in black, is well reflected on the golden color on the outside of the teacup. The narrow upstream is getting broader as the river flows downstream, creating the depth of feeling on the painting. The circular patterns of ripples, which is Kohrin’s unique design, are elaborately decorated in golden color. It is very difficult to draw curved lines by glaze, but Zenshoh Yamaoka faithfully decorates its design on the teacup.

Contrasts of nature are well described on this teacup with a graceful manner. Faithful reproduction of Zenshoh Yamaoka, who has prominent flowing brush technique, adds magnificent atmosphere to the teacup. We are certain that this teacup will enrich your green moment.

Specially packaged in a wooden box.
Lead-free. Made in Japan.
Free shipping on all tea ware items!




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

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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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