Black Raku Tea Bowl

A 16th century black Raku-style chawan, used for thick tea (Tokyo National Museum)

A chawan (茶碗) is a bowl used for preparing and drinking matcha (powdered green tea) in Japanese tea ceremonies. In Japan, "chawan" also is the standard term for bowls for rice. If it is necessary to distinguish between them, bowls for rice are called gohan chawan (usually pronounced gohan-jawan), while the ones for use in chanoyu are called matcha chawan (matcha-jawan). The handle-less cups used for drinking regular course steeped tea are generally referred to as yunomi (lit., cups for hot water), while the small porcelain cups used for fine-quality steeped green tea are often distinguished as senchawan. When the word chawan stands alone, it is normally prefixed with the honorific o-.

There are many types of chawan used in the tea ceremony, and the choice of their use depends upon many considerations.


The first chawan for the tea ceremony came from China.

Styles and classificationEditar


In tea ceremony, chawan are classified according to their place of origin or manufacture, colour, shape, materials and other characteristics. More than one classification may apply to a given bowl.

Most chawan are bowl-shaped, but shapes vary widely. There are names for each general shape, within which there may be many variations. Common shapes include cylindrical, flat and round. Cylindrical bowls are called tsutsu-jawan, while shallow bowls are called hira-jawan.

Chawan are also classified according to the type of tea that will be served in them. Bowls for regular green tea are known as senchawan, while bowls for matcha are matchawan. Within the general category of matchawan, there are bowls for thin tea (usuchawan) and thick tea (koichawan).


Karamono (唐物) refers generally to styles of chawan that originated in China. These bowls were designed for drinking tea. Note that in all cases, the names are Japanese.

  • Tenmoku (天目)
    • Haikatsugi
    • Yohen
    • Kensan
    • Yuteki
    • Taihisan
  • Seiji (青磁, celadon-ware)
  • Hakuji (白磁, white porcelain)
  • Sometsuki (blue and white porcelain)


Archivo:Green Tea.jpg

Kōraimono (高麗物) refers generally to styles of chawan that originated in Korea. Korean chawan were originally rice bowls that were adapted for tea when they entered Japan, much like Chinese oil bottles became tea caddies. Korean bowls were a favourite of Sen no Rikyu because of their rough simplicity.[1]

  • Iji
  • Mishima
  • Kaki-no-heta
  • Kinsan
  • Ido
  • Gōki
  • Goshō Maru
  • Totoya
  • Katade Komogai
  • Kohiki
  • Amamori
  • Hagame
  • Sōhaku
  • Gohon
  • Tamagote
  • Sōba
  • Unkaku
  • Wari-kodai
  • Iraho



Wamono (和物) can refer to anything that is traditionally Japanese, or made in Japan. In the case of chawan, it refers to styles that were developed in Japan.

Wamono chawan can be further divided by location and by kiln:


  • Karatsu
  • Asahi
  • Oku-gorai
  • Iga
  • Hagi
  • Seto (瀬戸)
  • Setoguro (瀬戸黒)
  • Izumo
  • Shigaraki
  • Oribe (織部)
  • Shonzui
  • Genpin
  • Shino (志野)
  • Satsuma

Raku (kiln)Editar

Raku is also known as raku-yaki (楽焼).

  • Chojiro I
  • Kōetsu
  • Nonko


  1. Sadler, A.L. Cha-No-Yu: The Japanese Tea Ceremony. Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962, 67.

See alsoEditar

External linksEditar

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