Dobin Tokoname


Original handmade Japanese dobin teapot made by Master Jinshu, Tokoname. Features integrated hand-pierced ceramic strainer, natural clay, fired using Yohen technique for subtle colour variations. 1050ml
Type Dobin
Kiln Tokoname yaki (常滑焼)
Studio Master Jinshu (甚秋)
Origin Tokoname region, Aichi district, Japan
Capacity 1050ml
Manufacturer's recommendation Fill up to about two-thirds up the strainer, leaving the top third empty; more water may cause leakage even if the lid is fitted tightly.
Dimension 12.9 x 12.3 cm (without handles)
Weight 538g
Sieve Integrated, hand-pierced ceramic strainer
Finish The lid was sanded to fit the body of the jug using the suriawase technique (すり合わせ), a hallmark of Tokoname design.
Packaging Box
Tea type Recommended for Bancha, Genmaicha, Hojicha

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Dobin – Handle

A Kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot, which is ideal for the preparation of Japanese green tea. On the inside, natural clay is fired and unglazed, allowing the body to react with the water and tea to bring out the tea's aromas. The best way to steep the tea is to leave it free-floating in the pot; this allows for a more complete extraction of flavours and ingredients, while the integrated sieve filters the leaves when pouring. The tea should only ever be brewed fresh, but can be suitable for several uses. The handles on the side and lid prevent the hand from coming into direct contact with the hot teapot. Throughout history, there have been hundreds of pottery hubs around Japan, wherever the volcanic soil had rich clay deposits. Some are still active today, including the six main "old kilns" (rokkoyo): Bizen, Shigaraki, Seto, Echizen, Tamba and Tokoname. Others include Karatsu, Hagi, Mino, Shino, Oribe, Setoguro Ki-Seto and Kyo-yaki, and for tea ceramics above all Banko in Yokkaichi. They differ by region according to the composition of the clay, the prevalent firing method, the craftsmanship techniques, decoration and glazing methods, and the fineness or deliberate coarseness of the finish. Notably, the clay type and firing determine how the kyusu contributes to the tea's flavour profile, i.e. which flavours are enhanced or subdued. For this reason, tea connoisseurs often have several different of kyusu in order to perfectly prepare various teas. Among the finest and most valuable kyusu are those made by masters who are famous not only for their special talents in manufacturing, form and decoration, but also for their production of natural clay as well as their unique firing techniques. Spearheaded by the most highly awarded masters alive today, who are considered some of Japan's national treasures, there is a whole hierarchy of craftsmanship, ranging from studios that still draw on inspiration from old masters, to fierce young studios, to family-run micro-enterprises that produce the majority of everyday tea ceramics. Vintage kyusu, which are made entirely from now-exhausted premium natural clay from their respective regions, are essential collector's items, resulting in unparalleled tea flavours.

Tokoname Yaki (常滑焼, Aichi)

Tokoname Yaki (常滑焼, Aichi)

Tokoname is the oldest of the famed six old kilns (roku koyo, 日本六古窯) in Japan. With approximately 200 kilns specialising in traditional ceramics around the city, Tokoname is the largest centre of ceramics production in Japan. The pure natural clay (shudei) is red and has a particularly high iron content, which affects the taste of green tea, enhancing the flavour profile. Unlike other regions, Tokoname still has some reserves - albeit diminishing - of its famous natural clay. Shudei kyusu are made from the most finely ground, iron-rich clay possible (tatsuchi), which is found under rice fields in Tokoname, giving the clay its special properties and colour. Genuine Hon Shudei clay with optimal iron content is becoming so rare, however, that it must be further enriched with natural iron oxide to achieve the desired colour. After moulding the base of the kyusu, the potter sprinkles the kyusu with a mixture of red clay and natural colour pigments to create colour variations in a process called chara-gake. The kyusu is then fired in the kiln. Finished Shudei pots have a distinctive shine, which is achieved by polishing the potted kyusu intensively before firing. Because of the natural shine, glazes are not usually applied, allowing the clay to speak for itself. Tokoname kyusu are produced using either oxidation firing to enhave the clay's natural red colouration, or reduction firing in gas or electric kilns to create black shades. Some studios and artists use a combination of the two techniques. Oxidation firing is conducted at temperatures between 1100 and 1200 degrees celsius, depending on the clay, and must be very carefully controlled to avoid cracking and drastic colour variations. The introduction of the multi-vaulted, multi-chamber hang kiln (renboshiki-noborigama, 連房式登窯) in 1834 improved the firing process, allowing the potter to have more control compared to earlier kilns. This made the development of unglazed red shudei ware possible. Tokoname is now famous throughout Japan, and indeed worldwide, for its red toki shudei kyusu. But the studios of the region are also known for many other techniques, such as the ash glaze (yakishime), dark firing marks by carbon impregnation (koge), celadon work and the mixing of different types and colours of clay.


This traditional dobin is hand-turned from natural clay by Master Jinshu, a multiple award-winning potter from Tokoname. A dobin is usually slightly larger than a kyusu, and usually unglazed on the inside. This dobin has beautifully fine colour patterns created by Jinshu's signature firing technique (yohen). Tokoname is one of Japan's six traditional ceramics hubs; here, high-quality earthenware has been produced since the 12th century. The clay deposits found there are particularly rich in iron, which is responsible for the characteristic red colouration and, combined with oxidation firing, helps to optimise the taste of tea. One special feature of kyusu from Tokoname are the lids, which are cut by hand in order to fit perfectly.


- Authentic masterpiece by Jinshu
- Hand-cut lid
- Red natural clay with high-iron content
- Fine colour patterns created by yohen firing technique
- Unglazed inside to emphasise flavours in teas, Tokoname is particularly suitable for alkaline, mineral-heavy and mild green teas of the second and later harvests, such as Bancha, Genmaicha, Hojicha, Sannenbancha

Suitable for

Recommended for these Japanese green teas:

Particularly alkaline, mineral and mild green teas from the second and later harvests such as bancha, genmaicha, hojicha, sannenbancha.

Light brown, earthenware with slightly red, yellow and grey tones from oxidation firing. Internally unglazed, lending the green tea a softer, more balanced flavour. This simultaneously makes the tea taste milder and more harmonious – even with more heavily roasted teas such as hojicha and sannenbancha.

Upon interacting with green tea, the natural clay kyusu develops a patina, which improves and intensifies the taste over time. For this reason, avoid using hard tap water or bottled water with a high calcium content, and where possible, opt for soft, low-calcium water, similar to natural mountain spring water.


To care for high-quality Japanese ceramics, always use soft water with a low limescale content for all preparation and cleaning steps. A kyusu should be heated with warm water before the actual tea preparation, to enable the clay to react better with the tea leaves. The tea leaves are then placed in the kyusu with a wooden spoon. 1-3 heaped teaspoons per person are recommended, depending on taste, variety and quality. Tea connoisseurs often make the tea much stronger than beginners, because they are more accustomed to the intense, bitter flavours. Pour the water carefully and slowly over the leaves, preferably from a yuzamashi (a vessel for cooling the water after boiling) made of the same or similar clay. To avoid leakages, do not fill the water to the brim; leave space from the top third of the strainer. To pour, hold the kyusu with one hand, resting the thumb on the knob on top of the lid. Make sure that the small opening on the lid is level with the spout. Pour the tea slowly into the cup in several rounds and drink it fresh. If filling several cups, pour them in small increments one by one to achieve an even result for all cups. At the end of the pouring process, carefully but firmly tilt the kyusu downwards a few times to extract the last few drops from the tea, which are particularly rich in flavour. If preparing multiple infusions, leave the lid on the kyusu. After use, remove the tea completely and rinse the kyusu vigorously with water only. Do not scratch or otherwise clean the inside. Finally, rinse the inside and outside of the pot with soft water so that no harmful limescale deposits form. Briefly rub the outside with a clean cloth. Leave the Kyusu open to dry completely.


Cleaning outside:

Use clean water and a soft cloth only. Rub with brewed green tea to remove any stains.

Cleaning inside:

Rinse only with clean, preferably soft water. If cleaning the kyusu with tap water, rinse it afterwards with soft, low-limescale water inside and out to avoid corrosion. Because the kyusu, which is unglazed on the inside, develops a patina over time, which improves and intensifies the taste, it is advisable to use only the suggested types of tea. This is also why, whenever possible, soft, low-calcium water (similar to natural mountain spring water) should be used for preparation and cleaning, rather than tap or bottled water.

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