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Japanese Mingei Shino-Ware red glaze ochko

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Japanese Pottery60 of 1275What does TFF mean on Japanese Ware?Japanese Minoyaki Shino Ware ochoko by Shusen Kiln
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    Posted 9 months ago

    (835 items)

    This Shino Ware pottery ochoko (sake cup) is 2.25" in diameter x 1.75" high. It has no maker's mark on the bottom, so is Mingei, or "folk art". It and its step sister Shino Ware cup arrived today. This one is pretty generic and seems unremarkable, but is still a nicely made cup and was hand decorated.

    The sister cup is marked and more interesting, at first glance. The sister cup did lead me to more in depth research of Shino Ware and it finally dawned on me that the cup in this post is also Shino Ware, just at one end of the spectrum of finishes seen for this type of pottery. The better known Shino Ware finish has thick, rough glazes in white, red , rust and mixtures of those colors over white clay with prominent "pin holes" and other seeming defects in the glaze. The sister to this cup exhibited some of these characteristics but the glaze was smooth and homogeneous in color with small, unobtrusive "pin holes" in the glaze but still obviously Shino Ware.

    Based on the quality of its step sister cup, I revised my estimate of the potential quality of this cup upwards and examined it more closely and noticed that the glaze had small "pin holes" over the surface, the first clue as to its origins. I started searching for similar examples and found several cups which were identified as Shino Ware, some in their original marked tomobako with accompanying literature. Whoever originally owned these two ochoko had good taste and probably purchased these cups together, possibly on a visit to the Gifu Prefecture where various Minoyaki kilns produce Shino Ware.

    The cup in this post is only decorated on one side, but has interesting textures on all sides. Calling it "Not a mystery" since it is Mingei ware and the anonymity of the maker is a given.

    It is a bit odd that I often find sellers with only two ochoko, which are different from each other, for sale. This pair were the only Japanese things this seller had in their items for sale. This has happened for me several times. Odd...

    I lost the light today so will try to get better images when it is sunny. My phone camera loves sunlight!

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    1. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks jscott0363 and fortapache!
    2. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 9 months ago
      This is a sweet little earth-toned cup with that wonderful splash of contrasting glaze! It looks like it would be pleasing to the touch.
      I'm not sure why sellers are offering you exactly two non-matching ochoko, but there is a healthy tradition of having a selection of "mismatched" (individual) sake cups. Excuse me if I'm telling you something you already know... if you visit Japan and go to a neighbourhood izakaya (pub with a big menu of fried snacky accompaniments) - the waitstaff may well present you with a large tray of mismatched ochoko. You are expected to look through them and choose whichever one appeals to you, This is your drinking cup for the evening. You do have to give it back, though ;)
      Most of my sake cups are vintage or antique and came without tomobako. Indeed, I'm sure many never possessed one to start with! So, I keep them in a lidded tray, izakaya-style. It's actually quite pleasant to look at them grouped together, and it makes a virtue of the fact they came without their own boxes. They are also at the ready if a friend visits who likes sake, as I do.
    3. racer4four racer4four, 9 months ago
      This is so appealing to me Kevin. The finger marks, the extra line detail, scrumptious glaze and the splash of shiny glaze on the front. So nice!
    4. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks for your comments, rhineisfine! My luck with commonly finding two mismatched cups from various sellers is probably just Sanchitta Karma from a past life. After looking at my images for this one closely, for awhile, I started to think it might also be Shino Ware, but a closer examination of the cup, itself, dispelled that hope. It does have a nice texture, though.

      Thanks for your comment, Karen! It seems plain at first glance but has subtle attributes that make it special. Good eye!

      Thanks for your comment, Pacem! Both of the cups I found recently were intended to be used for drinking sake. These particular cups do not require any kind of seasoning or breaking in as the glaze seals them from penetration by liquids. I have some cups that did/will require seasoning, though. These two cups will gain some patina from use, though.

      Thanks for loving my latest sake cups Manikin, Thomas, aura, Pacem, Kevin, Karen, rhineisfine and Jenni!
    5. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      OK, back to thinking that this may be an example of "red" Shino Ware.....
    6. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 9 months ago
      The glaze on yours doesn't look like red Shino at all to me. Check out this article:
      "One distinctive characteristic of Shino is small pinholes called suana (nest holes), which tea masters favor and term yuzuhada, or citron skin." Even the smoothest Shino - your white cup being an example - still shows some trace of these tiny holes or puckers.
      This webpage includes links to some pictures - the last one is a red Shino.
      Shino tends to be somewhat thick (although there are exceptions) and glossy too.
    7. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Here is a similar red glazed Shino cup in the ebay link below. The cup in this post does have the pinhole finish, if you look in the second image, the image in the lower left shows it. The rest of my images are just crap. I took them in the late afternoon when the light was not good and the resolution sucks making the finish look smooth.
    8. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks dav2no1, Alfie21 and ho2cultcha!
    9. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 9 months ago
      Thanks for the link to the extra pictures - you are absolutely right about the glaze!
      Congratulations on two lovely Shino finds, then!
      Gorgeous little cup for sure, and I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I think these cups really are a great pleasure for drinking sake - or whiskey, for that matter ;)
    10. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks for your comment and the information you provided, rhineisifine! This set of cups helped me to identify an earlier find, my favorite sake cup, as Shino, as well...

      I will get better images of the cup in this post when we get a sunny day. Cloudy and rainy here today and tomorrow...
    11. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      I am a whiskey drinker!
    12. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks, Thomas!

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