This charming fellow arrived some weeks back. Packed in tissue paper, wound wround in plastic-wrap, put into a wooden box, wrapped in gift-paper, tied with a bow, wrapped in tissue paper, wrapped in bubble-wrap, placed in a cardboard box and padded with air-cushions, this was perhaps the most well-wrapped item I have ever received.
I take the acquisition of teaware very seriously, not wanting to accumulate redundant clutter, and our configuration hasn't changed in over a year: same pots, same cups, same kettles. Realising that the consumption of matcha really requires something a little more apropos, and given our tastes for all things wabi-sabi, there was no real alternative to this charming chawan [tea-bowl] for us.
I can heartily recommend Magokorodo, the popular eBay shop from which this was bought. The bowl feels dense and good in the hands.
Fans of Japanese teaware will know that this is hagiyaki [Hagi-style teaware] - this particular white-glaze genre of Hagiyaki is "oni" [ghost]. This is a rather unfortunate character in Chinese, but perhaps not so in Japanese.
It is a piece by Seigan Yamane (Seigan being his family name, written in the Oriental manner with surname first), a potter currently in his late 50s, well-known for his Hagiyaki and, in particular, the lovely blue pieces recently exhibited by Alex and Brent.
We've been enjoying morning matcha since being enthused to do so after a recent trip to the British Museum, and feeling all the better for it. Seigan's hagiyaki makes that experience all the more pleasing. I am a maniacal whisker.
(Additional notes provided for the 2005 Mengyang Guoyan "Laobanzhang".)