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Shuchiku Gyokurowan

Handmade porcelain small teacup by Heian Seishō, Kyōto

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This special small teacup is perfect for gyokuro tea.
Handmade and hand painted by Kato Seishō, Kyōto

People abroad may associate Japanese tea with Matcha tea nowadays, but in the past, from the end of the Edo era to the Meiji era (during the nineteen century) in particular, Sencha was the favorite tea of the intellectual. Various schools of Sencha-do (Sencha tea ceremony) were strated at that time, and many sophisticated teacups used in the Sencha tea ceremony were produced. Those tea utensils are seldom used in our daily lives and many of them are no longer produced because tea is now drank on a daily basis out of cheap and mass-produced cups.
Seisho Kato III is a master potter and has been producing mainly Sencha utensils (teapot, teacup, etc.) at his own pottery studio. His works are suitable for people who really want to appreciate the real world of Japanese tea and drink Gyokuro or high-quality Sencha.
This small teacup with red bamboo painted on the white porcelain is normally called “Senchawan” (a cup for Sencha tea) in the Sencha-do, but drinking Sencha out of this small-size teacup (40 ml or 1.4 oz) is an outmoded practice. Instead, Sencha is usually drunk out of a larger teacup today. So, we call this small cup “Gyokurowan“ in order to distinguish it from a larger “Senchawan.” The difference between this “Gyokurowan” and a cup for the daily use is its lightness and thinness. Its weight is less than 30 g, and it is less than 70 g even when you pour 40 ml (1.4 oz.) tea in it. Its body of porcelain is so thin that you might be able to see the bamboo painting through the body which is about 1.2 mm thick. Seisho Kato II himself shapes and creates the delicate body of the cup.
This cup is produced with the technique of red pictures on the white porcelain, a simple and congenial design.

Seisho Kato has his own pottery studio near Sennyu-Ji Temple in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto, where he produces pottery. By underglazing the white porcelains his father (Seisho the second) makes, he adds the finishing touch on them. His porcelain paintings are characteristically delicate and exquisite. And his sophisticated techniques in painting and decorating received high commendation when his works were displayed at the Japan Sencha Crafts Exhibition, annually held in May in Ohbakusan Manpuku-Ji Temple, the one held as part of the National Senchado Party.

Kyo or Kiyomizu pottery is a symbol of Kyoto, and its history has continued for 400 years. To serve the desire of Aristocrats, tea masters and culinary specialists of the era, Kyo or Kiyomizu pottery has incorporated design and artistry not only from Japan but also from China and the Korean Peninsula. To succeed the intricate artwork and craftsmanship, each piece is made and decorated carefully by hand even till this day.


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Origin: Kyoto, Japan

Material: porcelain

Capacity: 40 ml / 1.3 oz (filled to 80%)

Dimensions: H: 4.5cm, ø: 5.9cm

Unit price: / piece


Limited stock: 7 piece(s) left


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We invoice in Japanese Yen.

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Handling precautions

Before first use, rinse it in lukewarm (not hot) water then let it dry completely.

Sudden changes in temperature,​ such as pouring in boiling water or applying to an open flame,​ may cause breakage.
Avoid placing in a place with high temperatures,​ such as a microwave, oven, or stove.
Do not use this pottery for any purpose other than for which it is intended.

Thoroughly wash with warm water, then let it dry completely to prevent mold.
Do not use dishwasher, dryer or dish soap!
Do not scrub pottery decorated with colors or gold.
In case of discoloration, do not use any kind of bleach!

After use, always let it dry completely, for if stored while still wet, it might develop a damp smell or mold.

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