Limited

AKAIRABO - HIGAN no MAI (handcrafted Matcha Bowl)

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

diameter: 5.31 inch (13.5cm) height: 2.95 inch (7.5cm), standard Matcha bowl size
Sophisticated Shigaraki-Yaki (Shigaraki pottery)
Made by Eizan Okuda
Measurements are approximate because each item is formed by hand.

The glaze pattern of AKAIRABO - HIGAN no MAI is uniquely beautiful and the sophisticated form creates an elegant and dignified atmosphere. The design of this Matcha bowl is called IRABO. The main feature of IRABO is the rough surface texture, which is made by sand mixed into the clay. We call the rough texture IRAIRA (ZARAZARA) and it is said that this is the origin of the name of this type of Matcha bowl.

AKAIRABO is a kind of IRABO which features red glaze. However, AKAIRABO glaze changes color depending on the concentration. If the glaze is thick, the color appears green, and if the glaze is thin, the color appears red. In this way, you are able to enjoy beautiful patterns created by the different levels of thickness and resulting variance in color.

AKA is red in Japanese. HIGAN is the afterlife or the world where Buddha lives. There is a traditional week-long seasonal event held in Japan each spring and autumn which is called OHIGAN. It centers on the spring equinox and autumn equinox. It is said that during this period of time, it is easier to send our thoughts or wishes to HIGAN. So, people visit their ancestors’ graves and give thanks. MAI means dance in Japanese. This Matcha bowl evokes a solemn, contemplative feeling.

ROKUROME is the trace of fingers or the paddle that the craftsman uses during wheel-forming. It is the circle line which you can see at the upper part of the Matcha bowl. Green color glaze covers the ROKUROME and creates unique patterns. The red clay, which contains iron, melds with the green glaze. Shiny black spots at the surface of the bowl and CHADAMARI (tea pool) on the bottom inside of the bowl appear where the glaze is very thick. The complex harmony of three different colors captivates viewers.

It is very difficult to control the amount of glaze and create this style of finish. Eizan Okuda, who is the artisan of this Matcha bowl, controls the amount of glaze and his outstanding glazing techniques make this warm and calm atmosphere. The flow of glaze naturally occurs during firing. The features of this bowl, brought by his techniques and by firing in the kiln, enhance the experience of drinking Matcha. Even skilled potters cannot control such an expression, so that each work is unique.

The form of this bowl is quite distinctive. When he forms the KOHDAI (foot) he sharply shaves from the base to the upper middle of the side to create this sharp line. This straight sharp line from the base to hip adds the accent and tightens up the form of the Matcha bowl. It evokes a feeling of tension, elegance and dignity. The atmosphere of the upper part with ROKUROME is gentle and you can feel the warmth. The contrast of upper and bottom part is one of the features of this Matcha bowl.

The shape of KOHDAI (foot) is also unique. You can see it is spread out. We call it BACHIKOHDAI and inside of it there is a projection which is created by a traditional technique. We call this “TOKIN” which is a traditional small hood used by YAMABUSHI, Japanese ascetic monks who live in the mountains. During the kiln firing process, five attachments are placed between the bottom of this Matcha bowl and the floor of the kiln, so that the bowl can be positioned in the kiln. This time, the artisan used sand. The five parts are unglazed and add a tense accent to the atmosphere.

Eizan Okuda is a great artisan and also a tea master. He works closely with traditional grand tea masters. For example, he was invited by Urasenke to create special pottery to celebrate the anniversary of the tea ceremony. He is an expert in tea culture, so when he designs this Match bowl, he focuses not only on the appearance but also its functionality. When you use his Matcha bowl, you can feel his attention to detail.

Considering his effort and techniques, it is worth much more than the price. Once you hold this bowl in your hands, you can see and feel all the elaborate details of his work. The brilliance and solemnness of this Matcha bowl will surely expand your green tea moment.

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 craftsman. There are natural variations in each piece.)

Price

US$184.00

Quantity

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

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Eizan Okuda

Eizan Okuda was born in Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture in 1944. After graduating from high school, he studied under his father and also took lessons in tea ceremony of the Urasenke school which is one of the Japanese three major schools of tea ceremony. He was given the tea ceremony master name "Sohei" by the head of Urasenke in 1973 and in 1987, he studied under Kohsyoh Shimizu, who is the elder of Todai-ji Temple, which is certified as a World Heritage Site. He was also registered as a traditional craftsmen of Shigaraki Yaki ware in 1992 and he was awarded as a traditional crafts industry contributor in 2007.
He is one of few potters who have the tea ceremony master name, even in Japan. He has a perfect command of glaze, forming and firing by his outstanding skill and unique experience. He also holds private exhibitions all over Japan and provides the guidance of pottery-making around the world. Eizan Okuda is truly one of the representative potters of Japan.

Directions

- It is best to wash this item using only tepid water or mild chlorine-free dish washing detergent.
- After use, please dry thoroughly. Otherwise, it could possibly get moldy.
- Do not sterilize by boiling, or in a dish washing machine.

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