RINPA Matcha Bowls + Cups

RINPA Matcha Bowls + Cups


About RINPA Matcha Bowls and Yunomi

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. At same time we release pairs of Yunomi teacups featuring RINPA paintings. They are in the motif of BYOHBU folding screens. 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. One of his most famous works is JUNIKAGETSU KACHOU ZU, "Flowers and Birds of the Twelve Months" in English. 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.

  • Released a series of Matcha bowls featuring the JUNIKAGETSU KACHOU ZU painted by Houitsu Sakai, who was indurated RINPA school

  • It is often said that JUNIKAGETSU KACHOU ZU is the most valuable among all paintings of flowers and birds in the Middle Ages in Japan

What is RINPA?

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.
Two new characteristics of painting style are pointed out to describe RINPA paintings. One is bold composition and layout, and another is realistic depiction. One of the most famous paintings in RINPA is FUJIN RAIJIN ZU, which is the Wind God and Thunder God Screens in English. FUJIN Wind God and RAIJIN Thunder God are painted in each side on the golden folding screen, and they are filled with a lot of lively movement. This screen is also well known due to the fact that the founder of RINPA painted this work of art, and the style of RINPA and its techniques were taken over by representatives of the second and the third generation who created its painting after the originals. Its characteristic made a new epoch to the history of Japanese painting.
Realistic depiction is a key feature of RINPA. The painting techniques of RINPA are called TARASHIKOMI and BOKASHI. RINPA indurated both techniques, and then, those techniques came to be used widely throughout the field of Japanese painting. Both techniques involve color seeping into paper. TARASHIKOMI is when colors are dripped into not-fully dried ink. Coincidental effect of blur makes unique and unforeseeable coloring. BOKASHI technique is to make color light gradually by brush. This is also one of the techniques of gradation, and gives the painting more of a three-dimensional feeling. RINPA artists made use of those techniques as realistic drawing style, passed down from generation to generation. Not only the painting style of RINPA, but also Japanese painting styles were also greatly influenced on its technique.
One of the features of RINPA painting is its repeated graphic patterns. Same objects are painted on the screen or hanging scroll, and it makes the painting more rhythmic.

RINPA is also known as one of the arts which express more unique Japanese sensitivity in Japanese modern art. Most of the works are paintings, but some artists engaging in RINPA were also very good at lacquer, pottery, and calligraphy. Artists in RINPA were well talented and well educated.
Some schools such as KANO and TOSA, which are very traditional, flourished through family lineage. In contrast, RINPA was passed down through the generations by painting after the originals. Artists in RINPA were impressed by the painting style of past generations, and drew the same painting. This way of practicing is called UTSUSHI, painting after the originals. Through this process, RIMPA was intermittently inherited through painting, not family lineage and flourished from generation to generation.

  • Folding screen of SEKIYA by Soutatsu Tawaraya. RINPA was passed down from generation to generation by painting after the originals.

  • Folding screen of GUNKAKU ZU by Kiitsu Suzuki, who is the third generation of RINPA. Repeated graphic patterns makes the painting more rhythmical.


It can be said that there are three main generations of RINPA, and five representative artists painted and left colorful and graceful works. The interesting point is that each person had never been trained how to paint in RINPA. They were impressed by the predecessors’ work, and tried to paint after the originals.
The foundation of RINPA was built by Honami Kouetsu and Sohtatsu Tawaraya in the first generation. In the second generation, RINPA was developed by Kohrin Ogata and Kanzan Ogata. In the third generation, works of RINPA flourished in the Edo period due to the influence of Houitsu Sakai.

First Generation: (Kouetsu Honami and Sohtatsu Tawaraya)

Honami Kouetsu (1556 - 1637) was born in Kyoto into a family of sword polishers and appraisers. He was well cultured, and very good at any kind of art. He was one of the three prominent calligraphers during this period. He created beautiful Matcha bowls as well, and his works, especially Raku-Yaki are praised even today. Kouetsu was also known for building an artists’ colony in the northern part of Kyoto.
Sohtatsu Tawaraya (1570? ? 1643? : Year of birth and death unknown) was a craftsman of folding fan paintings. His paintings on fans were very famous in Kyoto during that time. His work not only focused on painting fans, but also painting folding screens. One of the famous paintings is FUJIN RAIJIN ZU, which is Wind God and Thunder God Screens in English. This painting had a strong influence on future RINPA artists; some fully devoted themselves to the work of reproducing this painting.

  • SENMEN CHIRASHI BYOBU by Sohtatsu Tawaraya. His fan painting was very famous in Kyoto during that time.

  • FUJIN RAIJIN ZU Folding screen by Sohtatsu Tawaraya. His technique was also expressed on various pictures.

  • Anthology with Crane, painting by Sohtatsu Tawaraya; calligraphy by Honami Kouetsu. The collaboration between them creates rhythm.

  • Honami Kouetsu was born in Kyoto into a family of sword polishers and appraisers.

  • Red Raku tea bowl by Honami Kouetsu. His pottery skill greatly influenced ceramic art.

Second Generation: (Kohrin Ogata and Kenzan Ogata)

Kohrin Ogata (1658 - 1716) was born into a family of KIMONO fabric dealers in Kyoto. He was influenced by the beauty of lacquers and potteries made by Kouetsu Honami. He also had a great impact from painting of Soutatu Tawaraya, especially his unique composition and brush strokes, and learned how to paint by creating after the original. His famous paintings are KOUHAKUBAI ZU, the Folding Screen of Red and White Plum Blossoms, and KAKITSUBATA ZU, Japanese Irises. Only blue and green colors were used in Japanese Irises screen, but its flowers are very colorful and graceful.
Kenzan Ogata (1663 - 1743) was younger brother of Kohrin Ogata. He was very famous for his pottery. He learned the technique of pottery from Nonomura Ninsei, who established the foundation of Kyo Yaki pottery. He also collaborated with his older brother, Kohrin Ogata. Kanzan made the pottery, and Kohrin painted it. One of their most famous works is a hexagonal plate with longevity character design.

  • KOUHAKUBAI ZU BYOBU by Kohrin Ogata. Bold layout and colors attract our attention.

  • KAKITSUBATA ZU by Kohrin Ogata. Only green and blue colors are used.

  • JURO ZU ROKKAKU SARA, pottery by Kenzan Ogata and drawing by Kohrin Ogata. The pottery created by the Ogata brothers is one of the Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

  • JUNIKAGETSU WAKA KACHOU ZU SARA by Kenzan Ogata. Flowers and plants are painted on the front, and a poem is written on the back.

Third Generation (Houitsu Sakai)

Houitsu Sakai (1761 - 1828) was born as the son of a feudal lord in Tokyo. He was impressed by Kohrin's painting style, and he published the volume of Kohrin Ogata. This catalogue was exported to Europe, and received a high evaluation. His works mainly focused on natural scenery, and the title TSUKI NI AKIKUSA ZU, Folding Screen of the Moon and Autumn Plants, and NATSU AKIKUSA ZU, Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn, are well known as Important Cultural Property. Houitsu enhanced the former artists' achievement, and perfected the techniques and styles of RINPA.

  • NATSU AKI KUSA ZU BYOBU by Houitsu Sakai. He depicts nature very realistically.

  • TSUKI NI AKIKUSA ZU by Houitsu Sakai. The technique of RINPA is used to draw the moon and leaves.

Zenshoh Yamaoka and its Pottery

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.

  • Zenshoh Yamaoka