One of my first tea bowls was a kyogen-bakama style bowl

Unkaku Chawan–a type of kourai chawan–is also called Unkakude. To distinguish it from Gohonunkaku of later generations, it is also called Old Unkaku (Kounkaku). Unkaku is a type of inlaid celadon porcelain from the latter part of the Goryeo period. Various works such as dishes, bowls, and altar fittings have been made in the unkaku style, but of all of these the tea bowl is selected by tea masters.
The name Unkaku (lit. Cloud-Crane) comes from the common pattern depicting cranes among clouds.
The inlaid patterns, which began with floating clouds and wheeling cranes, include various things such as peonies, chrysanthemums, arabesques, thunder crests, grapes, pomegranates, and circles. The pattern similar to the circle crest on the clothes which are worn by Tarou Kaja of kyogen fame is called “Kyougen Bakama”. A bowl without any pattern is called “Muji Unkaku”.
Many unkaku chawan are cylindrical in shape, but there are bowl shaped ones too.
A pattern is carved out the hardened dark red clay using the nobori or kataoshi techinique. After this, the bowl is coated in a white or black mud which is wiped off. Then, it is entirly glazed to the inside of the foot with a muddy celedon glaze.

The exceedingly charming Nomura Mansai as Tarou Kaja. Notice the crests on his hakama.

Advertisements