Tokoname is a city in the Aichi prefecture of central Japan. Being one of the six ancient kilns of Japan, Tokoname is famous for its ceramics. Possibly one of the oldest kilns in Japan, Tokoname produces various types of ceramics. Among these, I find their teapots very interesting. Teapots, or Kyusu in Japanese, are masterfully crafted in Tokoname. Teapots are made with local clay and left unglazed to fire. Mogake technique is employed by some potters in Tokoname. This technique consists on wrapping seaweed around pots to produce red markings during firing.
According to various tea experts, brewing green tea in an unglazed Tokoname teapot improves tea's flavor by reducing bitterness. I love drinking green tea (sencha) and from time to time I do use one of my Tokoname teapots to brew some tea. However, I'm completely satisfied by just staring at these pieces of art. They are so light and excellently made that it is hard to believe that this level of craftsmanship is possible.
All teapots shown above are from Tokoname potters (and from my own collection). I couldn't resist showing off some of mine as well. Here are a couple of teapots I made. They are nowhere near the level of craftsmanship when compared to Tokoname teapots. These are my first attempts at making this style of pots. I wish I could spend sometime in Tokoname to learn from one of their potters.