Limited
RENZAN (handcrafted Matcha Bowl)

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

diameter: 4.92inch (12.5cm) height: 3.54inch (9cm), standard Matcha bowl size
Sophisticated Raki-Yaki
Made by Eizan Okuda
Measurements are approximate because each item is formed by hand.

In Japan, Raku-yaki is the highest grade Matcha bowl used for the tea ceremony. This Raku-yaki Matcha bowl is created with a wish for world peace. The carved vertical lines symbolize people all over the world. The white glaze represents the clouds and sky, and the bottom part of black is the sea. Inside of the bowl represents the universe. The boundary between the clouds and the sea looks like a mountain range, RENZAN in Japanese, which is the name of this Matcha bowl.

The motif of this Matcha bowl was requested by Dr. Sen Genshitsu, the 15th Grand Master of Urasenke, a Japanese tea school. He travels all over the world to promote the idea of achieving “Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea.”

The deep black color glaze used for this Matcha bowl is created from KAMOGAWA stones, which are mined at the upper courses of the KAMO river, a famous river in Kyoto. KAMOGAWA stones contain iron and the iron creates the beautiful and unique black color characteristic of traditional black Raku-yaki, known as Kuro-raku. Only a few artisans, such as Mr. Eizan, can use KAMOGAWA stones. It is a very rare glaze and only used for high class Kuro-raku. Cobalt is added to create the blue tones.

Thin black glaze was applied from the KOHDAI (foot) to the hip, and thick black glaze was applied around the middle. Mr. Eizan painted white glaze at the upper part, thickly. The flow and degree of mixture and the contrast of the glazes are quite interesting. Compared to the outside of the bowl, the inside is covered only by black glaze, and represents the universe. This black glaze brings matcha's bright green color into prominence.

The form of this bowl is Mr. Eizan’s original creation. From the lip to the hip, the line is straight. He intentionally made the form simply to emphasize the carved lines which represent people and white glaze (clouds) and black glaze (sea). This straight shape is imposing.

The gently rounded shape from the hip to the KOHDAI evokes a feeling of tolerance. The KOHDAI is made slightly small, which looks quite elegant. Inside of it, there is a projection which is created by a traditional technique. This is known as TOKIN, which is a traditional small hood used by YAMABUSHI, Japanese ascetic monks who live in the mountains.

Since this is Raku-yaki, it is very light, and given thick coats of glaze. This helps to give Raku-yaki its soft and warm material feel. It fits perfectly in your hands and the gently rounded form is easy to use and comfortable.

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 Matcha 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. (Sophisticated Bowls of Eizan: click here)

Considering his effort and techniques, this Matcha bowl 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. Enormous techniques, developments, time and devotion of Eizan Okuda went into creating this work of art. RENZAN contains a wish for world peace and it shows his gentle and tolerant personality. Once you see or touch this item, you will surely be fascinated. We hope you will enjoy a bowl of tea peacefully using this RENZAN Matcha bowl.

Specially packaged in a wooden box.
Lead-free. Made in Japan.
(Please note that each piece is unique due to the techniques employed by the craftsman. There are natural variations in each piece.)

Price:US$495.00

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FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING on all orders of US$50.00 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

- Raku Yaki has a water-absorbing property, so it is possible for this ceramic to retain and "sweat" small amounts of water.
- Before using Raku Yaki for the first time, please soak in lukewarm water for one or two minutes. Before reusing after it has been stored long term, please soak for thirty seconds. This process helps to keep Raku Yaki strong and durable as well as clean and stain-resistant.
- It is best to wash the Raku Yaki using only tepid water.
- If necessary, you may occasionally use a mild chlorine-free dish washing detergent.
- Do not sterilize by boiling, washing with chlorine detergent, or in a dish washing machine.
- In case of using this as a dish, don't serve foods that have been made with sweetened vinegar. Vinegar may damage the glaze.
- Take care not to hit the bowl against a hard surface or give it a strong shock.
- Before you store Raku Yaki in its wooden box for long term, dry fully in the shade for 4 to 7 days. Otherwise, if the clay remains wet while it is packed away in a box, there is a possibility for the Raku Yaki to take on an unusual earthy odor or even for mold to form.
- If Raku Yaki takes on an unusual earthy odor, you can remove the odor by continuing to use Raku Yaki every day for a week.

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