- Museum number
- Object: Yohen taiha Tenmoku chawan 耀変玳玻天目茶碗
Teabowl made of stoneware, with iron oxide and other forms of glaze; inspired by Chinese Jian ware. With signed paulownia storage box.
- Production date
Diameter: 4.50 centimetres (footring)
Diameter: 13.70 centimetres (mouth)
Height: 6.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- One of two Chinese style teabowls by Kaneko Haruhiko (b. 1961). These teabowls were made on Ishigaki-jima, Okinawa Prefecture. The artist purposefully mixed Chinese, Japanese, and local styles to create a hybrid work that represents the heritage of Okinawa in modern times.
The bowl in this set titled “Yûteki tenmoku” 油滴天目茶碗 or “oil spot Jian-style ware” is a variation of Song- to Yuan-period Chinese Jian ware, made in the Fujian kilns in southern China that were popular in Muromachi- and Momoyama-period Japan. This bowl is for use in the winter with tall sides and a deep well.
The other bowl in this set (2017,3046.2) is titled “Yôhen taiha” 耀変玳玻 or “glistening tortoiseshell-patterned glass.” This style was particularly admired in medieval Japan. The original yôhen ceramics were made in the Jian-ware kilns in Fujian province in the Song and Yuan periods. Only four examples are known to exist all in Japanese collections. This bowl is another variation of a mixing of Chinese, Japanese, and local styles into a ware that fits Ishigaki-jima identity. This bowl would be used to prepare whipped green tea in the summer with a wide diameter and shallow well.
Both of these bowls are in classic tenmoku style shapes and are used for whipped tea (matcha) the chartreuse green tea works well with the dark black-brown glazes and when fully drunk the ocean blue interior will become visible.
The bowls themselves are a traditional Chinese form used in Japan for drinking whipped tea. Using an adapted form of the oil drop Tenmoku glaze technique he creates a new interpretation of tea for Okinawa that reflects the local colour palettes with technically perfect Chinese inspired glazes. The original Tenmoku glazing technique was created in Song Dynasty China. This mixing reflects the deep historical connections between Japan and China in regards to tea and tea wares as well as Japan’s continual adaptation of Chinese ceramic techniques. The original glaze was made by mixing ash, iron oxide, phosphorus, feldspar, and silica. The artist has modified this technique by adding cobalt-oxide and magnesium for the blue colour and silvery finish with iron-oxide to create the red oil drop effect. Besides being considerably less toxic than the earlier methods this method has the advantage of always consistent glaze variations, which ensure each work is unique.
For further information, see Robert D. Mowry, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers: Chinese Brown and Black Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400 (Harvard University Art Museums, 1996)
- Not on display
- Registration number