Aritayaki Dictionary

Japanese Green Tea Shops

Throughout Japanese Green Tea Shops website are words, phrases and names which often do not offer an explanation. Most common are terms of Japanese origin used to describe our Aritayaki Japanese pottery works and the terminology used in the Aritayaki Porcelain industry. For your convenience we have compiled a list in alphabetical order for easy reference.

Arita: A town in Saga prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu in Japan, famous for its porcelain kilns.

Aritayaki: (arita-yaki, arita yaki, arita ware) Porcelain made in the town of Arita in Saga prefecture.

Celadon: Another name for "Seiji" porcelain.

Chawan: 1. A teacup without a handle. Used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony for preparing and drinking Matcha (powdered green tea) but is also used for other types of tea as well. 2. A bowl. (In Japan, "chawan" also means bowl. The word "yunomi chawan" is sometimes used to clarify its purpose as a teacup; a bowl for rice would sometimes be called a "gohan chawan").

Dobin: Teapots that usually have a wooden or bamboo handle. (Dobin was originally used to describe kettles for boiling water or medicinal herbs).

Gama: "kama" read as "gama" in Japanese means "kiln".

Gosai: A term used to describe Imari pieces which are over glazed in not more than five colors.

Gosu: The cobalt oxide glaze used to produce the blue designs on somestuke porcelain.

Hakuji: (white porcelain) traditionally speaking, porcelain made with the superior kaolin clay from Izumiyama. Hakuji works are often very thin.

Hizen: Is the present day prefecture known as Saga. (During the Edo period a portion of Nagasaki was also included).

Imariyaki: (Imari yaki, Imari ware) Is another name for Aritayaki. The name refers to the port in which Aritayaki was shipped from. It also refers to the style of pottery after the Ko-Imari period beginning in the 1640's when colors were applied using methods introduced from China.

Jiki: The Japanese word for Porcelain.

Kakiemon: A style developed by the potters of Arita (in the1670's) decorated (usually) with oriental motif hand painted in red (kaki -persimmon colors, hence kakiemon) on a white porcelain background. (Although other colored enamels were also used as well).

 Kyuusu: (kyusu) Is a generic name for any ceramic or pottery teapot. Kyuusu is often used to describe the side handled (yokode) teapot.

Kinrande: A style of porcelain (1700-1750 derived from the Kakiemon style) that became most popular in the early 1800's. It was designed especially to suit the European taste. It has busier patterns and is often divided into sections colored in various colors like red, yellow, green and purple and highlighted in gold.

Ko-Imari: Means old Imari. (It is another name for Aritayaki). Between 1610 and 1650 this porcelain had a simple blue under glaze style. It is also referred to as Shoki Imari.

Iroe: Porcelain decorated in many colors (red, green, yellow, purple etc.) after it has been glazed and fired in the kiln. Usually the color red is the predominant color so its also called "akae". ("aka" means "red" in Japanese).

Nishikide: Another name for Kinrande style porcelain.

Ruri: A style of porcelain made with a dark blue cobalt overglaze.

Sasami: A built in screen for teapots (usually) made from the same marerial as the teapot itself. (often looks like a half of a golf ball (with holes instead of dimples) built into the pot).

Seiji: Also referred to as "Celeadon porcelain" is a pale blue-green color and is considered very difficult to produce.

Sencha: 1. Is another style of teacup much like the Yunomi but a bit smaller. 2. Sencha is also a type of green tea.

Shoki Imari: Ko-Imari or Old Imari porcelain produced between 1610 and 1650 decorated with a simple blue under glaze design. One of the most sought after items of antique collectors around the world.

Sometsuke: White porcelain decorated in painted blue designs. A cobalt oxide glaze is used and when fired (at temperatures over 1300 degrees c) it turns a beautiful blue color. A Korean potter named Yi Sam-pyeong created Sometsuke in the Genna period (1615-1624) in Arita.

Yakimono: 1. Means "fired thing". In the pottery world it often refers to a rough type of pottery. In modern conversational Japanese it is used commonly to describe any kind of pottery. 2. The word "yakimono" also means something (food) cooked or barbequed.

Yunomi: Is a teacup used for drinking day-to-day tea, usually "tsusugata" (a simple cylindrical shape) and is taller than it is wide. "Yunomi" is used in everyday conversation as a general term for any type of teacup.

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