Aya Fukumori Kyo Set: Chawan & Futaoki

Potter: Aya Fukumori

Approximate size Futaoki: W 2.2″ by H 2.2″ or 5.7 by 5.5 cm

Approximate size Chawan: W 4.7″ by H 3.1″ or 11.9 by 7.9 cm

For sale is a charming set of matching Chano-yu utensils from the same pair of hands. The set consists of a futaoki, lid rest and a chawan by famous female potter Aya Fukumori (1936-). Aya Fukumori is from and lives in Mie prefecture. She’s a stellar artist, even though born female she became a fully accepted and recognized potter. Together with her partner they oversaw construction of their kiln titled Komorigama and they operated it for years. Now Morihiko Fukumori is overseeing activities at the kiln. Works by Aya Fukumori works don’t come by often and these charming items have been in my collection for many years.

1936 Born in Tsu City, capital city of Mie prefecture
1973 Became independent from her husband, Morihiko Fukumori and Akogi ware and around this time she starts focusing primarily on hand-painted decorations on her ceremonial utensils
1982 Moved the workshop to Takajaya, Tsu City, titled Kitamori Kiln
1985 Studied Japanese painting under Professor Yoneun Okochi
1991 Built a hole kiln for firing tea pottery – painting with flames

Her latest exhibitions were in 2005, 2007 and 2009


Iro-e refers to painting motifs or patterns using lead-based red, yellow and green color glazes on the surface of glazed and fired earthenware’s & porcelains and having repeated firings at a lower temperature (around 800 degrees C), which causes the colored glaze to melt onto the under-glaze.


Futaoki are an integral item as this is where the lid of a chagama, tea-kettle or mizuzashi, fresh water pot is placed during some of the steps of all types of formal Chanoyu.

Aya Fukumori’s work often has hand painted decorations that at times interact with the firing effects of her kiln. The interaction often has a childlike manner of it interacting with other aspects of the pottery through the yohen or firing effects – the path of the flame. She’s a true master of the Iro-e technique, which is a technique used in the decoration of ceramics. The technique was developed in China around the 12th century for white glazed earthenware and by the 14th it was used on clear glazed porcelain. In modern times Arita yaki is the main type of ware using this technique. One can make a number of main distinctions in the use of Iro-e. The most famous sub-styles and their short description can be seen below.

Akae – multi-colored with red as the predominant color

Nishikide – brocade-pattern glazes from Kyoto

Satsuma-Nishikide – multi-colored Satsuma-yaki

Gosai – the classical five color style is known as gosai-de (五彩手), which includes green, blue, yellow, purple, and red

The futaoki and chawan both bear the seal of Aya Fukumori. The futaoki comes with the original paulownia tomobako that has the stamp of the kiln and calligraphy on the lid, the chawan comes without tomobako. There are no chips, cracks or other defects to mention and both items are in excellent condition. The chawan shows some signs of use but it does not distract from the work.

€375+ shipping cost

Japan due to its history, shows markers of segregation between the sexes. As is the case in most places; roles for mothers and fathers are separated. Childcare is regarded as the mother’s responsibility; the father’s domestic role is limited to small household repairs and playing with children on weekends. As so it was very difficult to break through the division, perhaps more so than would be the case in modern times.