Rakunyû Honiwa Shigaraki Taikai Chaire

Potter: Honiwa Rakunyû Nidai, 2nd Generation

Approximate size: W3.9″ by H2.4″ or 9.9 by 6.0 cm

Here’s an exquisite tea caddy by the renowned artist Honiwa Rakunyû II (1929-2002), who is one of the great acknowledged Shigaraki masters. Originally born in Nagano prefecture, he was trained by the first Rakunyû and succeeded his name in 1963.

Taikai or ‘daikai’ is a particular style of tea container design. The name “Taikai (vast ocean)” comes from the fact that the mouth of the tea container is very broad. Taikai are fairly large, flattened circle-shaped tea containers, with wide mouths, short necks, and horizontal shoulders. Many have a continuous engraved line running around the mid-section.

Honiwa Rakunyu II, though not a native of Shigaraki moved there and studied with Honiwa Rakunyu I, succeeded to the name in 1962 and set up a studio and a noborigama, later building his first anagama in 1971 which he named, Kochu-gama. Though Rakunyu II made a wide array of Shigaraki ware he specialized in chadôgu tea wares and it shows in his mizusashi, hanaire and chaire in particular. According to a number of Japanese books, Honiwa Rakunyu excelled at making chadogu and many of his pots have attestations by famous chajin and Buddhist priests.

Originally, this shape of tea container was called “Daikai (inland sea)”, but from the time of Kobori Enshu, larger ones were re-named “Taikai”, and smaller examples, “Daikai”. Usually Daikai Chaire is used for Koicha (thick tea), only but Taikai Chaire is used for Koicha and Usucha (thin tea), at the present time.

There is a small patch on one of the ash glazed area’s from the long and harsh wood-firing and does not depreciate the item. There are no chips or cracks and the item comes with the original high quality signed paulownia tomobako and exclusive high quality shikufu, cloth pouch. There is also a very large and high quality zoge lid. Condition is excellent.


Thank you very much!

Rakunyû II was specialized in making utensils for the Japanese tea ceremony (chadôgu), especially tea caddies, fresh water jars (mizusashi) and flower vases (hanaire). He built his own Anagama kiln, named Kochû-gama 壺中窯 – which literally means “Kiln inside a storage jar” – in 1971, that is now run by his son the Sandai or third generation Rakunyû.