Meiji Bijutsu

White Tenmoku Chawan by Kato Tozaburo

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 2000: Item # 1186811
Meiji Bijutsu
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Kita-aoyama 3-14-1
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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This splendid chawan (tea bowl) was part of the collection of a Japanese master-calligrapher also known for his pottery. We will present you a very diverse selection of his chawan and tea utensils.

Tenmoku chawan (tea bowls) first appeared in China at the Tianmu (Tenmoku, in Japanese) mountain temple where they were used to drink tea. The name has come to be associated with both the shape of the vessel and its dark ironlike glaze, although they are variations, as with this particular bowl.

Tenmoku tea bowls, first imported from China by buddhist monks, are some of the first tea drinking vessels used in Japan. They were particularly prized by the Shogun of the Ashikaga-Muromachi period (1336-1574), and as some of the most difficult bowls to make, they are still very much valued today.

This less common, exquisite, white tenmoku chawan was made by a master craftsman named Kato Tozaburo, born in 1948. The bowl features a fine bluish crackled glaze that gives the delicate vessel the lightness of air. Kato Tozaburo is a 31st generation potter from the town of Seto, one of the oldest Japanese pottery production centers. In the 13th century, the forebear of the well known Kato family of potters, Fujino Shirobe, went to China to study pottery and came back to Japan with the techniques he used to make Seto ware. In 1991, Tozaburo inherited his name from his father.

Please let us know if you have some questions.

The chawan is in perfect condition. It will be shipped in a wooden box signed by Tozaburo.
Dimensions: 13.2 x 6.2 cm (5.3 x 2.5 in); 196 g (6.9 oz)

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