This stunning Kuro-yaki (black) Raku tea bowl is a replica of one of the original tea bowls commissioned by Rikyu, Japan’s most influential 16thC Tea Master for his use and that of his illustrious noble and wealthy students.
According to the history of tea development in Japan, Raku tea bowls were the collaboration between Tea Master Sen Rikyu (1522-1591) and the Korean potter Chojiro (1516-1592) who was working in Japan Chōjirō produced bowls for Chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony at Sen Rikyu’s request. These tea bowls were made of soft pottery and featured un-embellished, black or dark red /black glazes. For his contributions, Chôjirô was given the family name Raku.
Chôjirô’s offspring continued the Raku family lineage, each becoming an influential potter making a contribution to the stylistic development of chawan over time. Very few of these early tea bowls still exist, but some that do can be seen in museums in Japan, Europe and the USA. All Raku family tea bowls are named and have traceable histories. These tea bowls are priceless, and are considered Cultural Assets or National Treasures in Japan.
The Raku Museum in Kyoto, Japan, privately owned by the Raku family, treats visitors to a stunning display of historic tea bowls made by successive members of the Raku family, beginning with the first Raku, Chôjirô. We highly recommend this out-of-the-way museum as a definite ‘must-see’ for any tea enthusiast visiting Kyoto.
This Raku tea bowl is generous in size and has the warm, soft feel that is unique to Raku ware. Subtle undulations in the surface of the tea bowl provides some texture for the fingers to discover and appreciate. But overall, the surface of the tea bowl is smooth and confident and the aesthetic is spare of distracting decoration. It has a finger mark in the glaze.
Mr. Shoraku Sasaki 3rd is a famous Raku-yaki potter who lives in Kyoto, Japan. His seal is impressed in the underside of the tea bowl.
This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese tea wares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.
Historically, the term ‘Raku’ is used for chawan and other reference to persons and objects directly associated with the original Raku family, and ‘raku’ is the term used for all other references to interested persons and similar teawares ‘in the style of‘. We have capitalized the leading ‘R’ in the term ‘raku’ here, in all instances, simply for ease of reading the text, but the chawan that we offer are replicas by highly-regarded potters and should not be thought of as being original to the family.