Chapter 6: Momiji-gari and unkin patterns

One of the patterns used on Japanese pottery is unkin (cloud brocade). Unkin refers to overglaze enamels depicting momiji (maple) leaves and sakura in an imitation of the Rimpa-school style of painting. This pattern features the Japanese people’s much-loved sakura and momiji, which are symbols of spring and autumn, respectively. It is an extremely handy pattern to have as it can be used any time of the year, regardless of the season. The design’s treatment of the sakura as clouds and the maple leaves as brocade is what gives it its name. Behind all this, however, we can read the emotional landscape of the Japanese people: a hint of loneliness … 記事を読む

Chapter 1: Talking about ko-zara

The small plates, or ko-zara, that Japanese on their dining tables every day are such handy little things. Ko-zara came into being through Japan’s Honzen-ryori, a full-course haute cuisine style of eating where meals were served on trays. A tiny bowl known as a “choko” (what later came to serve as the sake cups with which we are familiar today) used to be placed in the center of the main tray. Choko were filled with salt, which was sprinkled on boiled vegetables and rice before being eaten. As time passed, choko gradually came to be replaced by small plates known as “teshio-zara” (lit. hand salt plate). Just as the characters … 記事を読む