Japanese-English Tea Glossary
This thread contains a list of tea-related terms along with their Japanese spellings. (I added a 'short' pronunciation guide to the end of this post).
If you would like me to add (or correct) something, please post!
Most terms will use kanji, which are the complex characters from Chinese origin. All Japanese can also be written using simpler kana, so this possibility can cause some challenges when searching. Names will usually use kanji.
For the majority of entries, I have the kanji and kana in paranthesis, like (kanji, kana).
(o)cha (茶、（お）ちゃ) -- tea
Yamane Seigan (山根 清玩、やまね せいがん)
Noutomi Chouun (納富 鳥雲、のうとみ ちょううん)
Noutomi Susumu (納富 晋、のうとみ すすむ)
Nakao Tetsuaki (中尾 哲彰、なかお てつあき)
Shibuya Deishi (渋谷 泥詩、しぶや でいし)
Shibuya Eiichi (渋谷 英一、しぶや えいいち)
Kaneta Masanao (兼田 昌尚、かねた まさなお)
Mukuhara Kashun (椋原 佳俊、むくはら かしゅん)
Tanii Houzan (谷井 芳山、たにい ほうざん)
Kenji (憲児, けんじ)
Gyokko (玉光, ぎょっこう)
Teaware - Main Category
Teaware is often given the suffix "yaki" (焼、焼き、やき)
........Ao - blue (青、あお)
........Aka - red (赤、あか)
........Oni - ogre/demon (鬼、おに)
........Hime - princess/lovely (姫、ひめ)
Teaware - Item type
Guinomi (ぐい呑み、ぐい呑、ぐいのみ) - a sake cup
Guinomi (ぐい飲み、ぐいのみ) - 飲is used for 'to drink' but usually written w/ 呑 for the cup
Yunomi (湯呑み、湯呑、ゆのみ) - a generic term for a (tea) cup
Chawan (茶碗、ちゃわん) - a large tea cup
Kyuusu (急須、きゅうす) - a teapot with a side-handle
*Houhin (宝瓶、ほうひん) - a teapot with no handle (often quite small)
Shiboridashi (搾り出し、搾出、しぼりだし) - a shallow dish, from "to squeeze out" (搾 may also be 絞)
Yuzamashi (湯冷まし、ゆざまし) - dish or bowl for cooling water
Tokkuri (徳利、とっくり) - a sake dispenser (looks sort of like a round vase)
Mizusashi (水指し、水指、みずさし) - a canister to hold water
Tetsubin (鉄瓶、てつびん) - a classic iron tea kettle
Ginbin (銀瓶、ぎんびん) - a silver kettle ("bin" is a generic term for "bottle")
Chashaku (茶杓、ちゃしゃく) - a tea scoop ("ladle")
Chataku (茶托、ちゃたく) - a tea saucer, usually lacquered
Tenmoku (天目、てんもく) - a tea bowl with a wide brim and narrow base
Teas -- Main category
........Asamushi (浅蒸し、あさむし) -- lightly steamed
........Chuumushi (中蒸し、ちゅうむし) -- medium steamed
........Fukamushi (深蒸し、ふかむし) -- deeply steamed
Matcha, maccha (抹茶、まっちゃ)
........Usucha (薄茶、うすちゃ) -- "thin" tea
........Koicha (濃茶、こいちゃ) -- "deep" or "thick" tea
Kabusecha (被せちゃ、かぶせちゃ) -- "covered" tea
Houjicha (焙じ茶、ほうじちゃ) -- roasted green tea
Kukicha (茎茶、くきちゃ) -- tea from twigs of tea plant
Bancha (番茶、 ばんちゃ) -- coarse tea
Mecha (芽茶、めちゃ) -- coarse broken tea and buds
Teas -- Varietals
Yutaka Midori (豊か 緑、ゆたか みどり) -- "Wealthy/rich Green"
Miyabi (雅、みやび) -- "elegance," "refinement"
Kuradashi (蔵出し、倉出し、くらだし) -- "delivery" (of goods from warehouse)
Sansai (三彩、さんさい) - three-color
Tebineri (手捻り、手びねり、てびねり) - formed by hand
Tedzukuri (手作り、 手造り、 手づくり、てづくり) - hand-made
Mentori (面取り、めんとり) -chamfered, beveled
Warikoudai (割高台、わりこうだい) - notched feet, split feet
Namako (海鼠、なまこ、ナマコ) - sea-cucumber (particular Hagi glaze style)
Famous Kilns (kama, 窯、かま)
Shunko-Enn (春湖苑、しゅんこ えん)
Odaiba Gama (お台場 窯, おだいば がま) -- Shibuya
Tobikana - "Flying Plane (wood working)" (飛び鉋, とびかんな). The clay is scored with a chattering tool while turning on the potter's wheel in order to make a repeated series of marks. The tool is called a "biri" (びり)
Nerikomi - "Refined mixture" (練込, ねりこみ). This is the marbled effect in the clay. It is created by pigmenting the clay with different minerals and kneading them together to form layers or striations.
Kairagi - "Plum flower skin" (梅花皮, かいらぎ). This is the "shark skin" crawling glaze used mostly in Hagi ware.
Chadougu - Tea Tools (茶道具、ちゃどうぐ)
Chanoyu - Tea Ceremony (茶の湯、ちゃのゆ)
Nihon - Japan (日本、にほん)
Debana - "first brew" (出花、でばな)
Quick Pronunciation Guide
Japanese is a syllabic language, so the pronunciation of words is relatively simple.
'a' -- short as in "father"
'i' -- long as in "feel"
'u' -- long as in "woo"
'e' -- short as in "test" or "eh"
'o' -- long as in "boat"
I put the vowels in Japanese order. Note that "sake" is pronounced "sah-keh," not "sah-key."
Vowels can be doubled. Any double-vowel is basically held twice as long (Japanese works off of timing/beat system, so for example, "sencha" is "se.n.cha," three syllables). But "kyusu" is actually spelled "kyuusu" in Japanese, and so is pronounced "kyu.u.su" (that is, the kyuu is held out longer than the su).
The only vowel pair that changes in pronunciation is "ei," as in "sensei." This pair has more of an "ay" sound, as in "say." The only other goofiness in vowel pairs is when considering lengthening "o." This vowel is usually lengthened by adding a "u," but is still pronounced like "boat." Thus "houhin" is pronounced like "hoh-hee-n." You will occasionally see "o" doubled with another "o" -- this happens with a few special words (big: ooki, wolf: ookami) -- again, still pronounced "oh" even though it looks like "oo."
All consonants in Japanese are paired up with a vowel (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko). Only one consonant stands alone: n. As in se-n-cha. When "n" happens in the middle of a word before m/p/b, it turns into more of an "m" sound. (Note, there is still a "na, ni, nu, ne, no" sequence as well).
For the rest of the consonants, they sound basically like English equivalents. There are a few differences. The "g" often is more in the back of the throat. The "fu" sound is more between "foo" and "who" (not a hard teeth-biting-lower-lip f-sound). The "r" has the tongue on the roof of the mouth and sounds between and "r" and "l."
Any sound like "kyo" or "gyo" are pronounced in one shot. NOT "kiyo" or "giyo" -- those are different words. So yes, if you pronounce "Tokyo" like "To-ki-yo" you're saying it terribly incorrectly. Not to mention it's actually spelled "Toukyou." Same with "gyokuro" -- three short syllables: gyo.ku.ro.
Doubled consonants (kk, ss, tch, +others) are indicative of a gemination (held slightly longer). In Japanese, it arises due to use of the sokuon: っ -- sometimes called a "small tsu" (つ). I sort of liken it to saying the word "headdress" -- if you say "headdress" properly, you have a slight pause on the "dd" before continuing the word. An example tea word is "matcha" (まっちゃ) -- "matcha" is not a quick 2-syllable word, but it has a slight pause in the middle.
As a final note, a few different systems exist to turn the Japanese language into English spellings. I've been using the modified Hepburn system. In this method, spellings are closer to how they sound in English, for example, "ta, chi, tsu, te, to" are the syllables using the 't' sound. In other methods, that same sequence would be "ta, ti, tu, te, to" (but "ti" would still be pronounced "chi"). These differences are also why you'll see "matcha" sometimes spelled "maccha," but I'll stop there, as this topic quickly gets confusing!