TOHHAKU SHOHRIN 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

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 Matcha bowl featuring a painting by Tohhaku Hasegawa (1539 - 1610). Zenshoh Yamaoka chose SHOHRIN ZU which is designated as a national treasure in Japan. The features and touches are well described by his unique sense.

SHOHRIN ZU, which means the painting of pine forest in Japanese, was drawn by Tohhaku Hasegawa, who was an artist between the Azuchi-Momoyama period and the early Edo period. He created Buddhist paintings when he was in his twenties, however the demand for his work had been decreasing due to the disturbances of war. He decided to go to Kyoto, the capital of Japan at that time, when he was 33 years old in order to continue his work as an artist.

In Kyoto at the time, the Kano School, which is one of the most famous schools of Japanese painting reached full bloom. It was rather difficult for this obscure, new artist to find work. However, his extraordinary ability and impressive paintings were soon discovered. Authorities of the time Hideyoshi Toyotomi and the inventor of tea ceremony Sen no Rikyu became his patrons. As a result, Tohhaku flourished with great force and his works eventually became quite famous, akin to the Kano School. Even today, the majority of his existing works are designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Assets in Japan.

One of his works designated as a National Treasure is the SHOHRIN ZU motif of this work. It is drawn on the folding screen. It is said that Japanese SUIBOKUGA ink-wash painting was established by this work. Before making this work, Tohhaku had a smooth sailing painter life. In such a situation, his son who was also a gifted artist and expected as his successor suddenly died young at the age of 26. It is said that Tohaku created this SHOHRIN ZU while feeling grief for his son’s death. It was not created for a patron, or commissioned, but created simply to distract himself from his overwhelming grief.

It is imagined that he drew this SHOHRIN ZU in the depths of despair, while yearning for the scenery of his hometown, since the pine forest like this work spread in his hometown Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. This work shows MATSU pine trees faintly appear and disappear in the misty morning haze. It represents the fragility of life. Though this work is described by only brushwork and shades of ink, it is so profound and intricate. Melancholy and WABI SABI atmosphere is also created from the margin which is boldly arranged in this work. Upon viewing this work, we feel as though we can enter this landscape, and we lose track of time.

It is quite daunting work to draw such a delicate picture and faithfully reproduce the original on the Matcha bowl. However, Zenshoh Yamaoka achieved it brilliantly by his extraordinary brush strokes. By using the inside of the bowl as a canvas, he expresses the perspective of the folding screen.

The use of golden color on the gentle white surface has a deep effect. Though the original SHOHRIN ZU was drawn on a plain, white folding screen, Zenshoh produces the dignity and splendor of the original by using golden color. The rim framed in gold makes this Matcha bowl bright and luxurious. It is not too ostentatious, but naturally, elegantly and gracefully painted.

You will be impressed by the high degree of perfection and feel the Japanese aesthetic of WABI SABI. This SHOHRIN ZU bowl reached the status of high art. It is a true luxury to drink Matcha from this bowl. Your time spent with this bowl will be pure delight.

Specially packaged in a wooden box.
Lead-free. Made in Japan.



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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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