Tag Archives: japanese yunomi. Japan tea cup

Japanese tea cups, yunomi and guinomi




Aki Takahashi



Japanese tea and sake cup terminology


Trying to navigate the complex naming of the Japanese ceramic tea wares is a challenge but I will add a few terms here to help identify some of the pieces below.
A chawan is simply a teacup without a handle primarily used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony for preparing and drinking Matcha (powdered green tea), but is also used for other types of tea as well. It can also refer to a bowl for rice where it is called a “gohan chawan”. The word “yunomi chawan” is sometimes used to clarify its purpose as a teacup. For more formal settings, a wide-mouthed cup called kumidashi chawan is used to serve ocha (green tea).




Masato Yamaguchi, Mori Yamaguchi chawan

The yunomi is a form of teacup, typically made from a ceramic material, being taller than wide, with a trimmed or turned foot. Unlike the more formal chawan tea bowl, the yunomi is made for daily (or informal) tea drinking. The favoured shape is the “tsusugata” (a simple cylindrical form) Recommended stoneware styles for yunomi are Hagi, Shino, Karatsu and Mashiko. The Hagi yunomi is known for going through seven stages of change and deepening in aji (flavour) as more green tea is poured into it. The white Shino yunomi, with its thickly applied glaze, almost never feels hot to the touch and the splendid ocha color is clearly visible. In contrast, a Bizen yunomi is unglazed and quite hot to the touch. There are numerous names for the different shapes in the chawan and yunomi. For example the Hatazori-gata is the Curving Lip type 0f tea bowl while the Momo-gata has a  peach form.



Komosaki-Ryuichi-oribe-yunomi-tea vessel

Komosaki Ryuichi oribe yunomi

Oribe yaki (yaki=fired) is one of the many wares produced in the prolific pottery producing areas around Seto, Aichi prefecture and Tajimi, and the Mino area of the Gifu prefecture. Easily recognisable by its distinctive green glaze, Oribe yaki has four main types; E-Oribe (patterns done with iron underglaze), Kuro-Oribe (an almost black, dark green glaze),Ao-oribe ( light green glaze) and Aka-Oribe (incised patterns covered with various glazes). A favourite with the tea masters of the Momoyama period (in the late 16th century), the potter Furuta Oribe, is said to have lent his name to the pottery.


Mutsu-Takayanagi porcelain tea cup -Kyoto

Mutsu Takayanagi porcelain tea cup


Kyuusu is the generic name for any ceramic or pottery teapot. Kyuusu is often used to describe the side handled (yokode) teapot. Celadon porcelain with its distinctive pale blue-green color is called Seiji. “Kama” read as “gama” in Japanese means “kiln”. The term Gosu refers to the cobalt oxide glaze used to produce the blue designs on sometsuke porcelain. Jiki is the Japanese word for Porcelain. Hakuji, traditionally speaking, is the white porcelain made with the superior kaolin clay from Izumiyama, usually very thin in structure.

Shino yaki is characterised by it’s thick milky-white glaze over an orange or pinkish clay base, pockmarked with tiny holes. It is said to be the first ware to decorate its pieces with brush-drawn designs. These were sometimes created with iron oxide, which changed the glaze to a rusty color after firing. The soft rugged shapes with their squat forms give the pieces a rustic appeal and the thick glaze with its nubbly texture imbues each piece with a sense of warmth. Other Shino ware styles were a grey glaze called “Nezumi shino”and pieces made with reddish or yellow clay named “Beni shino”.
Guinomi, choko, and sakazuki are three words that mean the same thing — sake cup. Among collectors, the Karatsu guinomi reigns supreme.

The images I’m using here are from the excellent blog called ‘Shelves of Sweet Beans’, which features a remarkable and large collection of Japanese tea wares and sake cups from a collector in Osaka.



Tsukamoto Haruhiko ceramic sake flask and guinomi

Tsukamoto Haruhiko ceramic sake flask and guinomi





Fukimi Fumi Oribe footed cup



Aki-Takahashi---Kanai-Cup-Hokusai - Mount Fuji image

Aki Takahashi— ‘Kanai Cup Hokusai’




Atsushi-Nakada yunomi cup red glaze

Atsushi Nakada yunomi cup



Ceramic bizen sake bowl-Ishii Takahiro - white with rusty strip

Bizen sake bowl – Ishii Takahiro



Carved gold brush footed cup - Tsuyoshi Shimizu

Elegant carved gold brush footed cup – Tsuyoshi Shimizu



Glazed white glaze sake machine - Kato Yoshiyasu

Glazed white glaze sake machine – Kato Yoshiyasu




Fukuno Michita tea bowl -- black and white geometric pattern

Fukuno Michita geometric pattern tea bowl




Tsuyoshi Shimizu incised texture bottle

Tsuyoshi Shimizu incised texture bottle




Golden-color-'Suzaku'-Teru-(extra-large-) Ichikawa Toru

 Ichikawa Toru – Golden color ‘Suzaku’ Teru (extra large)




Kazu-Yamada-abstract-yunomi tea-cup

Kazu Yamada – tri footed yunomi tea cup



Hiroaki-Toyohaku-yunomi tea cup

Hiroaki Toyohaku yunomi



Hiroyuki Tomita sake cup with gold drip glaze

Hiroyuki Tomita – sake cup with drip glaze



Hitoshi Hiraoka footed tea cup

Hitoshi Hiraoka footed tea cup



Ichikawa-Translucent-Sake-Bowl with white drip glaze on terracotta

Ichikawa Translucent Sake Bowl



Ito-Hokuto tea bowl japanese

Ito Hokuto



Kanesu Iron painting Persian Shizza cup -- Masutaka

Kanesu Iron painting Persian Shizza cup — Masutaka



Miho ceramic Sake Bowl

Miho Sake Bowl



Kaori-Takao -- Black-green, gold, black and white-sweet-peony-cup

Kaori Takao –sweet peony tea cup



Kato Kiyoyuki shino - pink and white glaze cup

Kato Kiyoyuki shino cup





Masato Yamaguchi tea bowl




Masutaka-ceramic-yunomi tea cup

Masutaka – yunomi tea cup




Moonlit tea cup-Yoshimura Mariko

Moonlit tea cup – Yoshimura Mariko




Masato Yamaguchi & Mori Yamaguchi—tea bowl




Mori Hinzai tea bowl red highlights

Mori Hinzai tea bowl




Nakagawa-Kyohei-tea-bowl with crackled surface in black and white

Nakagawa Kyohei tea bowl




Nagakino-No-Yoshiko ceramic vessel

Nagakino No Yoshiko





Nakaoka Nobuhito tea bowl



Naoko-Kusuda-sleek porcelain tea-bowl

Naoko Kusuda



Nishida-Shinya-incised-tea-bowl geometric patterns

Nishida Shinya – incised tea bowl



Nomura-Austrian-ceramic-tea-cup carbonized surface

Nomura Austrian ceramic tea cup




Oishi-Shiori---ceramic dog and cup

Oishi Shiori



Pottery bowl cup ancient vermillion - Nakahara Koji

Ancient vermillion pottery bowl –   Nakahara Koji



Ratsu-Shika red and white tea bowl with crackle glaze

Ratsu Shika  tea bowl



Reiji Omori footed tea cup

Reiji Omori



Sachiko Shimizu - white abstract design on black yunomi

Sachiko Shimizu yunomi


Satoshi-Watanabe-ceramic-tea-bowl with carved texture

Satoshi Watanabe hand carved ceramic tea bowl



Sancha-Oribe-Ho-Hakugaku - green and white glaze

Sancha Oribe — Ho Hakugaku



Sato Tsutsumi Sato Satoshi tea cup fine detail

Sato Tsutsumi Sato Satoshi  fine detail tea bowl



Sawada-Hayato-tea-bowl with modernist style

Sawada Hayato – tri footed yunomi




Seto-Junji-black-tea-cup with red single stroke motif

Seto Junji – red motif on black tea cup



Keisuke Shimatani-tea bowl mottled surface pattern

Keisuke Shimatani – tea bowl, mottled and crackled surface patterns




Shibuya-Toshiaki-ceramic tea-bowl

Shibuya Toshiaki




Shinji Suzuki, Tajmi City tea cup

Shinji Suzuki, Tajmi City – tea cup


Sawada Hayato---ceramic yunomi

Sawada Hayato – tri foot yunomi




Shino Shika Goto tea bowl

Shino Shika Goto tea bowl



Shinya Tagami- white drip glaze tea cup

Shinya Tagami- white drip glaze tea cup




Shogo-Ikeda-tea-bowl with internal geisha illustration

Shogo Ikeda geisha tea bowl



Shinya-Tagami-Kyoto-tea-bowl with turquoise interior

Shinya Tagami, Kyoto — tea bowl with incised surface, turquoise glaze interior




Shogo Ikeda tea cup

Shogo Ikeda



Shogo Ikeda ceramic bottle black on white motif

Shogo Ikeda ceramic bottle




Shuhei Fujioka-green celadon cup

Shuhei Fujioka celadon cup




Maeda Maeda-ceramic-cup inner gold glaze

Maeda Maeda




Masaki-Tomabechi-elegant tea-bowl in black, gold and white

Masaki Tomabechi elegant tea bowl – gold rim and black on white crackle glaze



Takadai-tea-bowl in earthy tones of brown and yelllow

Takadai tea bowl




Takako Hotaka



Takuma-Murakosh Japanese pottery

Takuma Murakosh



Grey and black Tamba cup - Masahiko Ichino

Tamba cup – Masahiko Ichino



Tamba Oni sake cup

Tamba Oni sake cup



Takuma Murakoshi ceramic tea cup

Takuma Murakoshi



Tanaka Takashi-Japanese ceramics

Tanaka Takashi



Tetsuya Ishiyama Shigaraki footed cup

Tetsuya Ishiyama Shigaraki wood fired cup



 Hideatake ceramic-cup

 Hideatake tea cup



Tomo Hayashi tea cup

Tomo Hayashi tea cup



Tomoko Takahashi ceramic yunomi with geometric patterns

Tomoko Takahashi



Tonomo Misao carved ceramic cup with animal reliefs

Tonomo Misao carved ceramic cup



Toshitaro Ogunsa---tea-cup-japan

Toshitaro Ogunsa



Tsujimura Lump japanese cup

Tsujimura Lump japanese cup



Tsuyoshi Shimizu blue sculptural cup

Tsuyoshi Shimizu




Wadayama Mao, Osaka



Wakao-japanese-ceramic cup

Wakao – hexagonal tea bowl



Yamashita tea cup




Yasunori-Nakao pink blossom tea cup

Pink blossom yunomi – Yasunori Nakao



Yasushi Sakurai tea cup

Yasushi Sakurai tea cup



Yoshimura-Mariko-tea-cup with naked girls

Yoshimura Mariko naked girls tea cup




Yoko Komae unglazed ceramic bottle

Yoko Komae ikebana vase



Yotaro-Takemura-striped-tea-cup in pink, grey and white speckled stripes

Yotaro Takemura striped tea cup



Yuki-Ohashi---city-scape ceramic cup

Yuki Ohashi—cityscape motif tea cup




Kim Hono



Aya Aki Takahashi



Yuri-Takemura celadon-tea-bowl

Yuri Takemura celadon tea bowl




Yusuke Makagawa tea cup





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