Takashi Mashita Hagi Biwa Chawan

Potter: Takashi Mashita

Approximate size: W 5.5″ by H 3.2″ or 13.9 by 8.1 cm

This is a fantastic example of a biwa or loquat glazed Hagi ware. This chawan was made by the 1st. class potter Takashi Mashita who studied in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture. He aspired to be a potter from the age of 22. After five years of training in Hiragaki, Yamaguchi Prefecture in the city of Hagi he moved to Suita City and opened a small shop.

The light, sandy clay with enclosures is expertly thrown. Including the foot ring the bowl is covered with a mixed feldspar and ash glaze. The light iron oxide in the clay produced a beautiful loquat color known from Korean Ido chawan.

To create pottery with biwa textures a transparent glaze also known as wood-ash glaze and earth-ash glaze is used to coat the clay. It is a solvent solution of ash from various varieties of trees, such as pine, sawtooth oak, Isu tree and Japanese oak. For Hagi yaki, this mixture is combined with feldspar minerals at a ratio of approximately 5:5 to make a compound. During the firing process the amalgamation of clay and glaze creates a lemon yellow color. In the case of tea ware, this glaze is known as Biwayū after the orange-colored loquat fruit (biwa fruit), and is a highly appreciated aspect of this glaze.

Ido chawan (tea bowl), is the first of three types of famous Japanese Tea Ceremony bowls. A very famous saying in the Tea Ceremony is “First Ido, second Raku, third Karatsu”. It means Ido chawan is the highest grade tea bowl. Even though Ido chawan did not originate in Japan but in Korea, many Japanese have recognized them as the top grade tea bowl for the Tea Ceremony through the ages.

Ido chawan was a low grade bowl used for daily necessities in the early Joseon dynasty in Korea (1392-1910). Substantial numbers of Ido chawan were shipped to japan in order to meet Japanese demand. By the Momoyama period in Japan (1568-1603), famous tea ceremony artist Sen no Rikyu had appeared and was promoting the wabi spirit in the Tea ceremony. Wabi means finding the beauty in imperfection. So Ido chawan from Korea hit the heart of many Japanese people who were pursuing the wabi spirit at that time. The shapes of Ido chawan bowls are imperfect indeed, however they contain perfect natural beauty.

Further authenticating this tea bowl is the written appraisal by Sekio Fukuoka. He was the preceding Head Priest of the Rinzai sect at the Daitoku Temple group’s Shoshun-Ji temple. This Hagi Ido chawan atmosphere or presence when you come closer to it was likened Zui-Un or Auspicious Clouds.

The chawan, sealed by the potter has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition. Comes with the original high quality shiho san paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the side and inside of the lid plus a dedicated tomonuno (tea cloth).

€350+ shipping cost

The origins of Hagi ware can be traced back to the arrival of Korean potters to Hagi, a quaint town situated in Yamaguchi Prefecture on the Japan Sea, following Japan’s military invasion of the Korean peninsula in the late 16th century. As a result, a large number of Korean craftsmen were abducted and transported to Japan, where they played a crucial role in establishing new pottery types such as Satsuma, Arita, and Hagi ware.