Monday, October 11, 2010


Though I like guinomi, I have never really gone out of my way to collect them. I realize there are a lot of people who collect shuki (sake articles) or guinomi exclusively looking at drinking sake in a nearly ritualistic manner just like chanoyu. My wife and I have instead, tended to collect chadogu, preferring the larger objects that hold greater volume and visual presence.

That being said, recently I was looking around on the shelves and nooks and crannies of storage areas and had to conclude, we do collect guinomi, there are dozens of them. Over the years, popping into antique stores, flea markets, treks to Japan and now with the electronic age firmly planted, internet auction sites, we have put together a serendipitous collection of guinomi.

Some are occasionally used, others out and about as gem like accents, but all possess the qualities of chawan that we are so fond of. Despite their size, a potter has to work just as hard to create a good form, interior, foot and surface as he would on a larger teabowl and counter intuitively, mistakes on a guinomi seem far more exaggerated than on their larger kin.

We have been able to find pieces from a wide array of styles and artists, from Bizen to Shigaraki, Hagi, Karatsu, Mashiko and many more. In truth they certainly store easily enough and their use, can be down right intoxicating