Why We Love It
This authentic Bizen ware teacup set features two handcrafted yunomi high cups in a custom-made wooden box, signed by the artist making it the perfect gift for tea lovers.
Bizen ware is one of the most remarkable Japanese pottery. Usually not glazed, Bizen-yaki has a natural appearance. The rusticity of Bizen-yaki has been appreciated for centuries for its wabi sabi nature: unique, austere, imperfect, gaining charm and beauty with time and use.
Inside the ancient cave kiln, pine tree ash flies and sticks to the clay, adding a natural glaze to the surface. The enigmatic decor of this yunomi set is named sangiri (桟切り) and is a distinctive feature of Bizen-yaki. During reduction firing, the flow of air may be obstructed, and the embers fall on the pottery. The chemical reaction between the iron contained in the clay and the carbon from the embers give birth to exquisite natural glaze nuances, from gunmetal grey to blue, and even white.
Why Choose Teacups from Bizen
Bizen-yaki (備前焼) is a type of pottery created in the city of Bizen, in Okayama prefecture. Bizen is one of Japan's Six Ancient Kilns and the development of these kilns and techniques have been carefully preserved, representing a vital contribution to Japan’s traditional arts.
In the 16th century, Bizen-yaki gained the favor of Sen no Rikyu, the famous master of the tea ceremony, for its wabi-sabi aesthetics. This notion of wabi-sabi is a key concept in Japanese sensibility: the appreciation of the ephemeral beauty of an imperfect object, which becomes more beautiful as time passes, and consequently acquires its own charm and an untranslatable idea of serenity.
Working with Bizen clay requires master craftsmanship to shape the wares and position them expertly inside the anagama climbing kiln. During the long wood-firing process, the artisans don’t touch the wares, so it takes years of experience to know how to place the ceramics in the kiln to achieve the greatest outcome. The final appearance of each piece is not entirely predictable, making every dish or teacup wholly original and unique. Making Bizen pottery is so arduous that most kilns only do a firing once or twice a year, or even less.
These teacups are handcrafted by ceramic artist Toshiaki Mori at the Hozan Kiln in the town of Bizen. A direct descendant from the six Bizen-yaki potter families, Mori-san is the 19th generation master artisan, who not only was selected and received awards at various national ceramics exhibitions, but also exhibited his works internationally, in the USA, UK, and Taiwan.
Caring For Your Bizen Ware Teacups
After use, the yunomi set should be rinsed thoroughly with hot water, which will help it to dry faster. To preserve the delicate surface of the teacups, do not wash them in the dishwasher.
- Yunomi teacup set, comprising two ceramic cups
- Handmade in Japan
- Free gift-wrapping in Japanese furoshiki cloth
- Includes custom-made wooden box, signed by the artist
- Sangiri technique
- As each handmade product is unique, there will be differences in size, color, and pattern from the photographs above.
- Cup size: Ø 3¼” (8.5cm), height 3” (7.5cm), capacity 7½ fl.oz (220ml)
- Product code: 93201SG