Swanica explores Japan

Friday, December 22, 2006

These are 2 "Shino chawan" bowls I made at the Nippon Tougei Club in Tokyo. They have bowls for men, the big bowls and you have bowls for women, the smaller bowls.
Then you have winter bowls, high and smaller, so, the "Matcha" tea will not cool that fast. And you have summer bowls, wide and low, so the hot tea can cool faster.

The front of the "Shino" bowl with the "tetsue".

Shino pottery, so pure and calm, has since its birth in the late 16th century tugged at the heartstrings of the Japanese. Shino ware is the first ceramic ware in Japan on which white glaze was applied. It was created at Mino, a medieval and modern kiln site.
Tea bowls and othere ware were used for the tea ceremony and "tetsue", dishes with designs in iron oxide were covered with the feldspar glaze. Shino "tetsue" was the first pottery with designs freely applied with a brush. This innovation was epoch-making.
A Shino chawan (tea bowl) figured prominently in Yasunari Kawabata's masterpiece novel, "A Thousand Cranes."
There is a divine presence in the best of Shino wares. When one gazes down into a Shino chawan filled with emerald matcha (green tea), it is an uplifting experience.
The name Shino is thought to have been taken from Shino Sohshin (1444-1523), a master in the art of incense. Another theory is that the name comes from a tea caddy in Shino's possession that was called "Bamboo Grass," which is also pronounced "shino."

The bottom of the "Shino" bowl.

End of November, I was again in America to sse my youngest son play water polo. Unfortunately, they lost in the last second. This was never heard off. That morning, I learned and had to tell my son after his loss, that his grandma, my Mom, had past away that morning. It is a big sudden loss, but she did turn 90 years old last June and was still mentally in good health for which we are very thankful.
So, I was also in Holland.
And now I'm preparing for the Holidays, because my 3 sons and 2 girlfriends will come here in Japan. It will be their first time in Japan, and a year ago was the last time when we were all together.
Whoever this reads: I wish you Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2007! Yoi o-toshi o o-mukae kudasai and akemashite, omedetoo gozaimasu!


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