As with all unglazed ceramics, wash with warm water and a soft cloth only. Do not use washing-up liquid 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.
|Product||Side-handle teapot, black and white|
|Origin||Tokoname, Aichi, Japan|
|Maker||Junzo Maekawa 前川淳蔵|
|Dimensions||Ø10cm x 4.5cm, handle 4.5cm|
|Artist mark||Signature on base|
Each piece is handmade and unique, therefore colour, volume, dimensions and weight may vary slightly
A born and bred Tokoname native, Junzo Maekawa (b.1976) is the fourth generation master of the Maekawa kiln. Founded in the early Taishō era (1912-1926), the family-run kiln has long specialised in producing large earthenware objects, such as vases, plant pots and traditional Japanese garden ornaments. Besides these sizeable items, Junzo Maekawa has also broadened his repertoire to tableware and teapots, which have won him numerous prizes including two Chouza Awards (長三賞) from the prestigious nationwide biennial ceramics competition held in Tokoname. Preserving ancient techniques within contemporary designs, the Maekawa kiln is committed to offering products that meet the needs and tastes of people today.
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.
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.