The first reviews that I will write for this blog will be over my various tea wares from Tokoname, Japan, so I thought it a good idea to provide a brief history of Tokoname, taken from Rishi, Wikipedia, and various other sites that I used to cross-check the information.
Tokoname teapots and wares are the yixing of Japan. I prefer them to yixing, as I am particularly fond of my kyusu and opt for larger pots (8-10 oz). They are also less porous than yixing and will take longer to absorb flavors. This could be good or bad, but advantageous for beginners, as it will be more forgiving.
Tokoname is a city in the Aichi prefecture on the main island of Japan, Honshu. In terms of kilns, it is the oldest and largest pottery center in Japan. During their early history, Tokoname potters mainly produced wares for Buddhist Temples, but economic growth during the Momoyama Period (1568-1603) allowed them to shift their focus to household items. By the 19th century, yixing wares had become popular among Japanese tea lovers. This in conjunction with Chinese potter, Jin Shi Heng's visit to Tokoname had a profound influence on Tokoname teawares.
Common Japanese Teaware Terms:
Chasen - Bamboo whisk
Chashaku - Bamboo tea-scooper-thingamajig
Chawan - Tea bowl
Kyusu - Teapot with side handle
Obi Ami - Mesh band screen
Sasame - Clay mesh screen
Samashi - Water cooler
Shudei - Red clay
Ushirode - Teapot with back handle
Yohen - Natural ash glaze
Ah hell, who am I kidding; there's a much better list here: