Tea Service
Kikubori Shonzui


A beautiful porcelain tea service with five Kumidashi cups and Kyusu teapot in a classic blue and white Shonzui (祥瑞) style. Handmade at the Ichiraku Kiln in Kyoto, renowned for their exemplary Kiyomizu-yaki ceramics. Comes protected in a traditional Japanese wooden box, perfect for Senchadō ceremonies or as a gift.
Product Tea Service: 1 Kyusu teapot + 5 Teacups
Ceramic Style Kyo-/Kiyomizu-yaki
Origin Kyoto, Japan
Studio Ichiraku-gama 壹楽窯
Volume Teacup: 150ml
Teapot: 450ml
Dimensions Teacup: Ø8.5cm x 6cm
Teapot: Ø12cm x 8cm (body only)
Material Porcelain
Decoration Blue and white Shonzui motifs
Artist's mark Signature on base
Packaging Wooden box (Kiribako)


Each item is handmade and unique, therefore sizing is approximate and paintings may differ slightly from the product photos


Delivery : 1–3 business days

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Ichiraku 壹楽

Yamamoto Ichiraku (山本 壹楽) was born in Kyoto in 1958 and after completing his studies was apprenticed to his Father: the first generation master of the Ichiraku kiln. In 1990 he inherited the family kiln and in 2010 was certified as a traditional artisan (伝統工芸士). Ichiraku specialises in traditional Kiyomizu-yaki porcelain, ranging from classic blue-and-white painting to colourful patterns and motifs.

Kumidashi 汲み出し

The Kumidashi is a short, light, handle-free teacup traditionally used to serve Sencha during Senchadō: the Japanese leaf tea ceremony (as opposed to Sadō for matcha powdered green tea). Kumidashi with mouths that spread outwards are particularly suitable for high-grade teas as the shape helps to amplify the aroma. Often sold in sets of five, Kumidashi are the choice of teacup when entertaining guests.

Kyusu 急須

In Japanese, Kyusu simply means "teapot" and globally has come to represent the traditional ceramic side-handled model most commonly used to brew loose leaf tea across Japan. Primarily designed for green tea, the Kyusu tends to be smaller than Western teapots and are completely emptied after each steeping to prevent the tea from over-brewing and becoming bitter. Conveniently, they often have a strainer built into the spout to keep the leaves inside the pot.

Kyo-yaki 京焼

Both Kyo- and Kiyomizu-yaki (清水焼) are general terms, often used together or interchangeably, to refer to pottery produced in Kyoto, covering a variety of different styles. Historically Kiyomizu-yaki exclusively referred to pottery made on the road leading up to the ancient Kiyomizu Temple – now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Typical Kyoto wares are decorated with colourful hand-painted motifs using overglaze enamel pigments: a technique that appeared in the 17th century and is still a hallmark of Kyo-yaki today. From 794 to 1603 Kyoto was the imperial capital, attracting the most skilled artisans across the country. Even after the seat of government moved to Edo, present day Tokyo, Kyoto continued to be the cultural and spiritual centre of Japan.

Sometsuke 染付け

Japanese blue-and-white pottery is known as Sometsuke, literally “dye applied”, because the colour was likened to traditional indigo-dyed linen. The ceramics are decorated by hand, stencil or transfer-print with a blue pigment, traditionally cobalt oxide, over which a transparent glaze is then applied, and once fired the underglaze decorations become a vivid shade of blue. This method originated during China’s Song dynasty (960-1279) and is believed to have been perfected around the beginning of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Blue-and-white pottery was introduced to Japan at the start of the 17th century in the form of export Tianqi or Ko-Sometsuke ("Old Sometsuke") porcelain from Jingdezhen, which was imitated in the kilns at Arita before spreading to other areas including Kyoto, Seto, Hasami and Mikawachi, each developing their own unique variations of Sometsuke.

Shonzui 祥瑞

Besides Ko-Sometsuke, the kilns at Jingdezhen were simultaneously producing Shonzui (also Shonsui) wares for export to Japan. These dazzling blue-and-white wares with their meticulously handpainted blocks of patterns were of a considerably higher quality than the deliberately coarse and simple Ko-Sometsuke style, which appealed to the wabi-sabi tastes of Japanese tea masters at the time.


Hand wash with warm water and a soft cloth or sponge – avoiding excessive rubbing. Use a mild washing-up liquid as necessary. After draining, pat dry with a towel or leave to dry naturally. Do not put in dishwasher, dryer or microwave as this may damage the glaze.

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