Where are tenmokus tea cups made?

Tenmoku tea cups, prized for their simplicity and elegance, have a rich history that is intertwined with their origin. These tea cups are named after the Tenmoku glaze, which was first developed in China during the Song Dynasty. However, the production of Tenmoku tea cups later shifted to Japan, where they were further refined and popularized.

In Japan, Tenmoku tea cups were traditionally made in several regions known for their ceramic arts. One of the most famous of these is Bizen, located in the present-day Okayama Prefecture. Bizen ware, characterized by its robust yet refined style, has a long history dating back to the Heian period. The unique properties of the local clay and the skilled craftsmanship of Bizen potters lent themselves perfectly to the creation of Tenmoku tea cups.

Another notable region for the production of Tenmoku tea cups is Tokoname, in Aichi Prefecture. Tokoname ware is distinguished by its fine grain and elegant simplicity. Potters in this region have long specialized in tea ware, and their Tenmoku cups are highly valued for their aesthetic qualities and practicality.

Today, while traditional production methods are still practiced in these regions, Tenmoku tea cups are also produced in other parts of Japan and even internationally. However, the authenticity and quality of these cups are highly dependent on the skills of the potter and the sourcing of materials. When seeking a genuine Tenmoku tea cup, it is always advisable to seek out reputable artisans and dealers who can attest to the cup's provenance and craftsmanship.

Leave a comment