The World on a tea bowl "A miniature universe"
These days, the idea of "mindfulness" is praised, but it is nothing new. It is nothing more than remaining in the present, the mantra of both Zen and Daoist ideals, and the concept reflected in the art and crafts of the traditional tea ceremony. The traditional path leading to the tea house is called roji, dewey ground, and comes from a Buddhist sutra which states, "There is no peace in the three worlds; they are like a house in flames," but upon enlightenment, one "emerges from the house in flames and sits on the dewey ground." Thus, the ceremony of tea is a spiritual one, which can lead practitioners to worldly understandings.
The tea house has a small door, so small that guests have to crawl inside, thus accentuating the feeling of separation from the petty thoughts and mundane considerations of the outside world. Inside, the small tea room is bare, with nothing more than a flower vase and a hanging scroll. Referred to as the abode of the unsymmetrical, it may look imperfect, but an appreciation of its beauty allows one to live in the present, to cast away the smaller self and understand the transcendent unity of all people and all things.
The acclaimed tea master Sen no Rikyu wrote:
House and dewy ground.
Guest and host both joined as one,
Share a cup of tea.
In tranquil meditation,
No margin divides their hearts.
Among the prized objects used in the tea ceremony, none is more valued than the tea bowl, and it is said that each bowl is a miniature universe. With countless styles and refined aesthetics, all who strive to understand its beauty will find works that speak to them. Besides the sky-blue and jade-green incised Chinese bowls, the beloved red and black Japanese raku ware, and the prized Korean ido and irabo pieces, there are many other beautiful styles, such as unglazed Bizen pieces, colored by ashen deposits, and partly-glazed Shigaraki works, which highlight the natural beauty of the rough clay hidden under smooth glaze. Hagi potters often leave patches of bare clay between the thick, white glaze that covers each piece. The bare clay suggests desert sands and sometimes contains small pebbles, boulders in the miniature landscape, which are covered by a snowy white glaze that hides all imperfections and echoes the impermanence of all things. See the miniature world in each tea bowl. Their beauty facilitates mindfulness and a refined awareness of details, and will lead beholders to harmonize with their surroundings.
Dr. Ken Jeremiah
Introduction written exclusively for Onihagi.com by Ken Jeremiah. He has written extensively about history, religion, and critical thinking. His books and articles are available worldwide.
Ken Jeremiah has written numerous books and articles, and he has translated various works from Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. Dr. Ken Jeremiah has written extensively about history, religion, and critical thinking. His previous books include Remnants of a Distant Past, Christian Mummification, Living Buddhas, Aikido Ground Fighting, and If the Samurai Played Golf...Zen Strategies for a Winning Game. He teaches world language and comparative religion courses, and currently resides in Narragansett, RI.
Welcome to Onihagi.com
We deliver Japanese tradition art of Japan to the world
Japan is home to one of the most vibrant ceramic cultures in the
world. It may also be the source of one of the oldest
earthenware traditions, having begun around at least 12,000 years
After World War II, six ancient kiln sites came to be known as Nihon
Rokkoyo or the "Six Old Kilns." These include: Shigaraki, Bizen, Tanba,
Echizen, Seto and Tokoname. There were, in fact, many more than
six ancient kilns sites.
Many of the artists in New Forms, New Voices reference these
ancient ceramic traditions in their work. Below is a brief description
of some of these kiln sites and traditional wares
If you're looking to ceramics, i can help you. Duties, fees, taxs, customs, delay are all things u can avoid with my service. For thousands of years, pottery and ceramics have been a large part of both the art world and everyday life there in Japan. Like all other aspects of Japanese life, the production of ceramics is a lesson in patience and meticulous craftsmanship. As a result, Japanese ceramics are like nothing else in the world. Whether you're a lot or not into ceramic i assure you that sometimes you can find in front of a tea bowl you can't miss. I am a big fan of high-fired unglazed ware. Some are collectively known as 'The Six-Old Kilns of Japan' (Bizen, Shigaraki, Tamba, Echizen, Tokoname and Seto). Even japanese pottery encompasses his entire history from Jomon to the present i do not enjoy everything I follow the philosophy of Zen aesthetics found within the cosmos and i think that into Tea bowl is a whole other world of Beauty.
Manuele 真入得 瑠 "Get into the truth and acquire jewels" .
This space want contains weekly handy tips & tools on request & cool stuff i find in Japan or what I'm doing in my own business traveling around the Globe. I'm averse to spam, as I'm sure you are, so i aim to make it very useful, stay in touch here so you don't miss out! If you like to drink Tea, Coffee or Sake into a guinomi, mug, tea or an unique bowl, this space will grow weekly and I'll keep adding Tea Ceremony ware as i'm learning something more everyday ! With time i became familiar with Hagi Ware, a pottery style that as changed as i do frequently. In Hagi City they have long ranked the most precious ceramic wares in the world made for the tea ceremony. I use to call : The charms of Hagi ware's rough clay & rich pockmarked surfaces, laced with diamond cracks in the glaze.
\m/ Born to lose, Lived to Win \m/
What I'm offering here is a gallery exhibits with my experience into pottery and a little bit of Japan. i've tried to put them in order with things in categories,. It's minimal, it's simple as i like info that's easily accessible. Many informational products & sites have become a lesson in complexity. This is intentionally lightweight, distilled & minimal, because i don't like dig in big web sites. I personally like fast-moving & i spend much time into Facebook, Istagram & Whatsapp. I realize that many people have the mania of the new, of the object never touched before. I respect this point of view, but here we talk about ceramics that are hundreds of years old, and here we must accept the idea that they have been used before. It is possible that ceramics used for demonstration of matcha or other infusions may be offered for sale. We are experts, and therefore I suggest a certain lightness in evaluating ancient objects.
.''One, Raku; two, Hagi; three, Karatsu.''
Hidden Jewels (Nobori-Gama Treasures)
I have passion for Hagi Ware, but it capture my attention Japanese pottery traditionally from Bizen province, and like shiga is fired for a long period in the kiln without glaze, creating subtle gradations in a distinctive seasoned color. Bizen City clay is dug up from rice fields and this iron rich clay is what gives most its dark colors, though, a few potters prefer to use lighter mountain clay. After being processed and shaped by the potter, the wares are fired in a NOBORI-GAMA (climbing kiln).
Hagi Ware (萩焼, Hagi - Yaki )
This is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable for its humble forms and use of translucent glaze. It originated in 1604, when Japanese samurai lord Terumoto Mori funded a Kiln to make ceramic ware in his castle in terms to provide the utensils necessary for tea ceremony, which he was very interested in. The original Hagi ware resembled famous Korean white ware bowls. However, the style has changed to reflect Japanese aesthetic taste over the years.
Potters mix local clay that is not refined, and as a result, many small cracks may appear in the ware after being fired. The piece is then decorated with translucent glaze, which gives it a wet appearance. Regular use also adds a natural color of tealeaves to the ware, and the teacup begins maturing and revealing its own unique color. This is called the "Seven transformations of Hagi". The tradition of Hagi pottery is said to spring from two Korean brothers who first fired Hagi sometime around 1604 in Matsumoto-Nakanokura, what is now Yamaguchi Prefecture. Hagi ware would later be called Matsumoto ware (or Matsumoto Hagi) after the official Hagi kiln was established. In 1663, two first generation potters, Saeki Hanroku (1630-1682) and Miwa Kyūsetsu (1630-1706), joined the Matsumoto kiln, which improved production. The historic and artistic value of Hagi ware grew when Miwa Kyūwa (1895-1981) was designated a Living National Treasure (Holder of Intangible Important Cultural Property) for Hagi ware in 1970. His younger brother Miwa Jusetsu (Kyūsetsu XI) received the same title in 1983. Work by a Miwa family descendent, Kazuhiko Miwa, is featured in New Forms, New Voices. Once shaped on the potter's wheel, a Hagi piece is allowed to dry for two to three days. After this, slip or brush patterns are applied, and the vessel is left to dry again before being fired. Pieces are first fired inside the firing chamber for at least 15 hours, but may require a further 30 hours. After firing, the firing chamber is sealed tight. The fired pieces are removed from the kiln after having cooled for between twenty-four hours and five days. Characteristics: 1) The charm of Hagi pottery lies in the rough texture of the clay and the pock marked surfaces laced with cracks in the glaze. 2) The traditional clay used for Hagi ware is soft, airy and is a mixture of three main raw clays (Daidō clay, Mitake clay, and Mishima clay). This blend creates a synergetic effect between the clay and the glaze. 3) The famous Hagi-style glaze is a semi-opaque, cloudy white glaze made by mixing earth ash with straw ash. Today, the most valued shade of this glaze is Kyūsetsu White which has the appearance of thick, fluffy, and warm cotton. Fun fact: Hagi ware continues to absorb color even after it is fired. The crackle of the glaze thus becomes more apparent over time. It is said that the ware changes tone and color "7 times", a quality highly appreciated by users. The more you use Hagi ware, especially if used to drink tea, the more interesting it becomes
Demon Oni-Hagi Bowl 山根清玩 Seigan Yamane
Bizen Ware (備前焼,Bizen-yaki)
The Art of "not knowing" Burning Passion.
Bizen has a history of more than 1,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest pottery making techniques in Japan. From Okayama prefecture, it is made using either a mixture of two kinds of rough clays with different densities that has a rich deep reddish brown color because of its high iron content. On a climbed kiln pine wood is used as fuel. It contains resin, which creates high temperature, as discharges too much smoke to be used for fireplaces is ideal for kilns. Some artists like challenge temperature at 600 degrees Celsius, and others keep it more than 1,200 degrees. The placement of pottery inside a kiln changes the conditions in which it is fired, resulting in various different outcomes. Nobody can predict how each piece of pottery will turn out! Bizen wares were produced in and around the village of Imbe in Bizen province, presently a part of Okayama Prefecture. Originating at the end of the 12th century, Bizen reached its height in popularity during the 14th century. The local clay in Imbe had great plasticity; however it was also sticky and fine-grained. This was and is a difficult material for potters due to its high shrinkage and relatively low fire resistance. Bizen ware is not usually glazed because the body shrinks so much during firing that any applied glazes peel off due to the different rates of reduction. Because of the composition of the clay, Bizen wares cannot withstand rapid hightemperature changes, so the firing has to be done gradually. Most pieces were fired slowly over a 10-14 day period of time and firings took place only once or twice a year. Characteristics: 1) The high strength of Imbe clay helped Bizen to retain its form, making it hard even without glaze. 2) Known for its earthen-like, reddish-brown surface color with an absence of glaze (although it may contain traces of molten ash resembling glaze). During the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Bizen wares almost disappeared, along with many other traditional crafts. An effort to preserve this pottery tradition began in the 1930s and Bizen ware was designated a traditional Japanese craft by the government in 1982. At the beginning of the 21st century, it was produced in around 300 kilns and two well-known representatives of Bizen ware are represented in this exhibition: Ryuichi Kakurezaki and Togaku Mori. Fun fact: Traditional lore suggested that food tastes better when served on a Bizen plate, and that flowers last longer in a Bizen vase. Recent scientific analysis has revealed that Bizen pottery blocks 90% of far infrared rays, keeping nearby natural materials fresh, and in the case of food, preserving their taste. The uneven surface of the pottery also makes beer taste better. These factors make Bizen pottery the favorite tableware of high-end restaurants in Japan.
Shigaraki Ware (信楽焼)
The pottery and stoneware made in one of the Six Ancient Kilns in Japan. Shigaraki (Shiga Prefecture) Is High-fired unglazed ware famous for its ash deposits and distinctive forms. Originated around 12th century, spreading outward from Tokoname and Atsumi. Shigaraki pottery is thought to have begun in the waning years of the Kamakura period (1192-1333). Shigaraki is located in the southern part of Shiga Prefecture (see map) and is a wood-fired stoneware first produced at the end of the 12th century. The clay of Shigaraki, endowed with fire-resistance and elastic properties, is well suited for making large utilitarian objects, particularly storage jars, vases and bowl-shaped mortars. After World War II, large Shigaraki jars became one of the most sought-after of all traditional Japanese ceramics, admired for their rustic texture and tsuchiaji ("flavor of the earth") which brought to mind weathered pieces of wood, or old stones covered in beautiful moss. Characteristics: (1) When fired over 2,300 degrees (Fahrenheit), the iron in the Shigaraki clay became oxidized and produced an orange-red coloring, but the heat also drew out a palegreenish glasslike substance from the clay. (2) Shigaraki wares have a natural ash glaze. This is a result of the kiln's atmosphere. In the wood-burning kiln, ash fell and collected thickly on the vessels creating unpredictable glaze effects. Contemporary ceramic artists live in and around Shigaraki, and/or use Shigaraki clays and firing methods in their work. The area continues to be home to many commercial kilns as well as artist's studios. Fun fact: Besides being one of Japan's oldest pottery centers, Shigaraki has become famous for their big, humorous Tanuki ("Raccoon Dog") ceramic figures which are placed outside Japanese taverns called izakaya. These comical figures, which have been locally made since the Meiji Period (1868- 1912), can be found all over Japan. This image detail had been taken from Rakusai V
Shino Ware ( Shino-yaki, 志野焼 )
Shino ware is Japanese pottery, usually stoneware, originally from Mino Province, in present-day Gifu Prefecture, Japan. It emerged in the 16th century, but is now widespread, including use abroad. It is identified by thick white glazes, red scorch marks, and a texture of small holes. The origin of the term "Shino" is uncertain. It may be derived from "shiro", the Japanese word for "white". Or it may refer to the tea master Shino Soshin (1444-1523).
Demon Oni-Shino Bowl 月形那比古 Tsukigata Nahiko the "Oriental Picasso"