The World Is a Tea Party Presents: Your Guide to Japanese Teas – Teawares

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While you can enjoy teas from Japan without investing in special teawares, as your appreciation of them grows, you may find yourself wanting some of these teawares. Not sure if this is complete, but you will see the major items here.


For Matcha

Click on each photo for name and details:

Diagram of a Chasen (by Amber Zhan):


For Other Teas and General Tea Items

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Yaki (焼)

A suffix meaning “ware” (“tea ware,” “ceramic ware,” etc.).

Most of these are named after the region in which the traditions were created and produced.

Some of the more famous and traditional styles:

Ceramic ware

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Porcelains

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Shudei (朱泥)

Clay mixed with iron oxide, used to make Tokoname yaki.

The iron causes the clay to turn red. The wares made with this clay are usually unglazed, like the Yixing teapots of China. They are porous and are also said to shine more as you use them.

Craftsman working with shudei
Craftsman working with shudei

More on Kutani-yaki

These wares are characterized by colorful decoration and painting using the kutani-gosai (九谷五彩) in a unique array of patterns and designs.

The five primary colors of kutani: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, and dark blue.

Gold paint was added later in the Meiji period, and export of this style of porcelain wares started to grow.

Today a simpler version is used in Japan for everyday ware.

The origin of this style of tea wares is a bit contentious in Japan, with scholars studying various documents and then going to various sites to dig. One such dig was in Ishikawa Prefecture, spurred on by a historical document, but it turned out not to be kutani wares that were found. A later dig in 1975 in Saga Prefecture (Arita region) revealed pieces matching the description in that document. This has led to the theory that kutani wares were fired in Arita region and decorated in Kutani. The debate continues.

Kutani-yaki
Kutani-yaki

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