Kyusu Tokoname Inka I

Teruyuki Isobe

An exquisite Tokoname-yaki teapot embellished in red and green bands of stamped flowers or Inka – the hallmark of acclaimed Kyusu artisan Teruyuki Isobe. The small, super flat shape is ideal for brewing fine green teas at lower temperatures, particularly Gyokuro and Kabusecha.
Product Side handle teapot, green and red
Origin Tokoname, Aichi, Japan
Artisan Teruyuki Isobe 磯部 輝之
Volume 120ml
Dimensions Ø9cm x H3cm, handle 6.5cm
Weight 145g
Material Ceramic
Strainer Ceramic (ささめ Sasame)
Decoration Inka (印花) flower stamp
Finish Unglazed (焼き締め Yakishime)
Production Potter's wheel (轆轤 Rokuro)
Artist's mark Signature on base


Each piece is handmade and unique, therefore colour, volume, dimensions and weight may vary slightly


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Teruyuki Isobe

One of the most in-demand Tokoname-yaki Kyusu artisans alive, Teruyuki Isobe was born in 1938 in the seaside town of Minamichita, right next to Tokoname. Acutely aware he wasn’t the bookish type, immediately after finishing school he set off to work at the acclaimed Takasuke kiln in 1954, specialising in hand-turned teapots. As a gesture of his heartfelt admiration for the company president, he diligently honed his craft there until he “retired” in 2007, the same year he finally opened his very own studio after decades of being encouraged to go independent.

Carrying over his personal style developed at Takasuke, at the Teruyuki kiln he continues to produce traditional Kyusu – but is most recognised for his signature Inka “flower stamp” designs. A delight to behold, these awe-inspiring pieces are meticulously embellished with tiny blossoms stamped one by one into the claybody by hand and accented with brightly coloured clays, often in bands of alternating hues.

His sheer persistence and technique have earned him the prestigious Tokoname Chozan award eleven times since 1976 and be recognised by the Governor of Aichi as an Outstanding Traditional Craftsman, besides being a highly sought-after favourite amongst teaware connoisseurs worldwide.

Kyusu 急須

The traditional Japanese teapot, Kyusu are typically made of ceramics with a side handle placed at a 90° angle to the spout for ease of pouring – however the handle can also be found over the top or in the back. Kyusu are perfect for preparing green teas and tend to be on the small side to prevent overbrewing. Depending on the size, shape and type of clay a Kyusu is made from will determine what type of tea is best prepared in it. There are many different regional styles as well as Kyusu made by certified Traditional Craftsmen, which are prized amongst collectors.

Tokoname-yaki 常滑焼

Pottery has been produced in the city of Tokoname, Aichi prefecture, as far back as the 12th century, and since 1976 has been protected as a Traditional Craft of Japan. Tokoname was the site of the largest and oldest of the legendary Rokkoyō (六古窯): the “Six Ancient Kilns” of Japan, and is celebrated for its iron-rich Shudei clay that turns a bright red after firing. When fired a second time in a reduction oven, the red Shudei turns black – another characteristic colour of Tokoname-yaki. Traditional Tokoname Kyusu teapots are unglazed on the inside, allowing the tannins in the tea to interact with the iron in the clay body, which is said to reduce astringency and highlight the sweetness of green teas. Another key feature of these Kyusu are the perfectly fitting lids, which are ground into the clay body after firing in a technique known as Suriawase.


As with all unglazed ceramics, wash with warm water and a soft cloth only. Do not use detergents or put in the dishwasher. Pat the outside dry with a towel and/or leave the Kyusu to air dry naturally with the lid off. If tea leaves get trapped in the filter, brush away with a soft brush, such as a toothbrush or our Bamboo Teapot Brush.

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