This rare chawan (tea bowl) is a Koda-yaki (Koda ware) from the Edo period (1615-1868). Koda ware, also known as Yatsushiro ware, is a celadon pottery originally made in the town of Koda (current Kumamoto prefecture in Kyushu) under the patronage of the Hosokawa clan, from the beginning of the 17th century. After the invasions of Korea by the Japanese forces led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536?-1598) many Japanese warlords, who were tea ceremony practitioners, came back to Japan with Korean potters, who were asked to produce tea utensils for their exclusive use.
The Korean potter who settled in Koda in 1632 was named Chon'gye (Sonkai in Japanese; he later changed his name to Agano Kizo). This particular bowl was probably made for and used by the Hosokawa clan as it bears the kamon (family crest) of that old Japanese family, who has had much influence in the shaping of Japan until these days. Hososawa Morihiro (born in 1938) was Prime Minister from 1993 to 1994; in an interesting twist of history, he is now retired and a very talented potter.
The chawan who must have been broken during its long history has been repaired, not recently, with lacquer and gold. It is a remarkable example of the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetics, where age and wear are also parts of harmony and beauty.
The tea bowl comes in a vintage box, whose lid bears an attestation of its noble origin.
Dimensions: 10 x 6.5 cm (4 x 2.6 in), Weight: 200g (7 oz)
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