HOUITSU NATSU AKI KUSA ZU (handcrafted Matcha Bowl)

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: 4.72inch (12cm) 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 NATSU AKI KUSA ZU. 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 representative works is a silver folding screen of NATSU AKI KUSA ZU, which is "Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn" in English. This work was painted on the back of a golden folding screen of FUJIN RAIJIN ZU, which is the "Wind God and Thunder God Screens" in English. NATSU KUSA summer grass was decorated on the back of a golden folding screen of RAIJIN the Thunder God, and AKI KUSA autumn grass was decorated on the back of a golden screen of FUJIN the Wind God. Both plants are relevant to those Gods painted by Kohrin Ogata (1658 - 1716), who is one of the most famous artists in the RINPA school. He is the second generation of the RINPA school, and Houitsu Sakai, who is the third generation, was impressed by Kohrin’s work, and decided to paint his work on the back of Kohrin’s work in order not only to express the relationship between heaven and earth, god and nature, permanent and impermanent things but also to show his honor to Kohrin Ogata. As above, Houitsu’s work of Summer and Autumn Grass folding screen is one of the rare works not only in RINPA but also in the whole history of Japanese arts. (For more information, please visit What is RINPA?)

NATSU KUSA summer grass is carefully drawn inside the bowl and AKI KUSA autumn grass is delicately described on the surface.

NATSU means summer, and KUSA means grass in Japanese. The scenery of summer is well described inside this bowl with the different green colors. New leaves are colored in light green, and deep green color is used for the older leaves and blooming flowers' leaves and stems with an elegant touch. Golden color is also used to paint the summer grass, and it adds to the noble atmosphere. White flower of YURI lily, purple color of HIRUGAO bindweed and OMINAESHI valerian, which are all representative flowers of summer, not only create the contrast to the lush green color, but also add to the elegant atmosphere. Each summer grass and flower is well reflected on the silver color glaze, which is close to the original color of the BYOBU folding screen.

Houitsu Sakai creates the summery atmosphere not only in terms of seasonal colors and flowers, but also in terms of the sketch of grasses and flowers. He describes dropped grasses and flowers in order to express a summer shower caused by RAIJIN the Thunder God. Even though they are weighed down by the heavy rain, all plants try to rise up again after the rain. This design evokes an image brimming with life. Zenshoh Yamaoka painted each plant delicately and elaborately to describe its unique scene of summer.

AKI means autumn, and KUSA means grass in Japanese. On the surface of this bowl, autumn grasses are depicted very delicately, impressing supreme gracefulness. The line of each stem, leaf and flower is described with a fine touch, and this technique creates a soft atmosphere. The leaves of SUSUKI Japanese pampas grass and YAMABUDOH wild grape leaves turn from green to red color gradually, evoking the changing season. The use of golden color on the leaves and veins adds to the elegant scene. The purple color of the FUJIBAKAMA thoroughwort flowers also adds accent. Each autumn grass and flower are well reflected on the silver color surface, which is close to the original color of the BYOBU folding screen.

The scenery of autumn also can be seen from the impression of its design. Autumn flowers and leaves are blown by the strong wind, which is caused by FUJIN the Wind God. TSUTA ivy is flying in the air, and the grasses blown by the strong autumn wind are about to lay down, but all plants withstand exposure to the wind. In spite of this harsh environment, some flowers and grasses bloom with beautiful color, evoking the strength of nature and its beauty.

The graceful and subtle white color used on the surface of this bowl is called NINSEI-KIJI in Kyo-Yaki works. NINSEI refers to Ninsei Nonomura who was one of the masters helping to create the Kyo Yaki style in the early 17th century. The contrast between the exquisite Japanese flowers and the subtle white background of this bowl emphasizes the beauty of this bowl and its graceful and gorgeous atmosphere.

Japanese scenery of summer and autumn is well described elegantly on this Matcha bowl. The design of NATSU AKI KUSA summer and autumn grass Matcha bowl not only evokes the beauty of nature but also the mystery and magnificence of life itself. We are certain that this Matcha bowl will enrich the taste of green tea which grows with natural vitality.

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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