Japan Meets China: An Outdoor Picnic Tea Set!
These days, it’s still difficult to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whether hiking or camping, the great outdoors is an ideal scene for enjoying leisure activities while avoiding crowds.
Kacchari, our Chinese picnic tea set, is perfect for the indoors and outdoors! With this set that includes both a kettle and tea leaves, you can turn any location into an elegant tea party.
1. Handmade Products from Traditional Craftspeople
Everything in the set, including the teaware and teacups, is handmade by a popular potter and other artisans designated traditional craftspeople (*) in Kagawa. The unique characteristics of Japanese crafts are showcased in this singular tea set (a detailed introduction of each artist is given below).
*Traditional craftsperson: an individual with a high degree of skill and technique engaged in the production of traditional Japanese crafts. This title is certified by the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries.
2. It’s Easy to Carry at Just 600 Grams!
Kacchari, our Chinese tea set made with traditional Japanese crafts, weighs only 600 grams (1.3 lbs). This tea set contains everything you need for teatime, including teaware and teacups, packed compactly in a single container.
It easily fits into any backpack or handbag, making it convenient to carry wherever you go.
3. A Beautiful, Circular Design
Storage boxes for teaware are typically bulky and square-shaped.
Kacchari emphasizes its design and portability by using a round wooden box as a container. The Bota-ori wrapping cloth, which is secured around the container for transportation, is also available in several different colors.
It can be used both indoors and outdoors. You can easily carry it with you and hold a tea party wherever you go!
Weight: 600 grams (1.3 lbs)
Size: 14.5 cm in diameter, 11 cm in height
- one teapot and two tea cups handmade by a potter
- one traditional Sanuki wooden box
- one kude-style lid
- one copper teaspoon
- one Bota-ori wrapping cloth, four cloth teacup saucers, one long mat
Introducing the Artisans
Teaware and Teacups by the Famous Potter Tsuyoshi Ueno
The teapot and teacups are the work of Tsuyoshi Ueno, a famous Kagawa potter. The pieces in the set are small, beautifully designed items that pair perfectly with Chinese and Japanese tea, or black tea.
Mr. Ueno became an independent potter after learning how to make Nanban ware: a ceramic style that doesn’t use glaze. He currently runs his own studio in Higashikagawa. Being a highly meticulous artist that does everything himself, he even built his own studio and kiln.
Mr. Ueno fires most of his works in an anagama kiln (“cave kiln”). He uses the yakishime ceramic technique of firing unglazed ceramics at high temperatures, which requires a large quantity of firewood and takes a week to complete.
*Some teaware and teacups in our Kacchari set do use glaze. Please understand that the teaware’s shape and color will vary in each set since they are handmade by artisans.
Sanuki Wooden Boxes: A Traditional Kagawa Craft
The storage container is made using the same technique as Sanuki wooden boxes.
Sanuki wooden boxes are a signature product of Kagawa, created around the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). Unvarnished wooden boards are arranged in a cylindrical shape and secured with hoops. This traditional item is still used in many households today.
Our containers are made by Kiyoshi Tanikawa, the third-generation owner of Tanikawa Mokkougei.
Tanikawa Mokkougei has been creating rice mixing tubs for sushi rice and water buckets for baths since its establishment.
Nowadays, they’re searching for creative ways to use tubs and barrels for our modern times. One such endeavor was developing the Sanuki-ben series, a line of stylish bento lunch boxes.
Kude Shoji-Style Lids
Kacchari’s lids utilize the traditional craft of Kude, a technique that uses wood to create geometric patterns. It was mainly used in the construction of shoji sliding doors in traditional Japanese homes. The style is known for showcasing beautiful patterns created by joining wood together without any nails.
Our lids are created by Takashi Morimoto, a traditional craftsperson carrying on the legacy of Kude Shoji.
Over the past few years, Mr. Morimoto has strived to create unique accessories with the kude technique, to share the beauty of woodworking with a wider audience. Many of these products are works made entirely from wood, including a soccer ball and even a handbag!
Bota-ori Wrapping Cloth, Cloth Teacup Saucers, and Mat by Takao Iwabu
Bota-ori fabrics, a traditional Kagawa textile, are used to create the wrapping cloth and teacup saucers. Bota-ori was originally used as an offering to feudal lords during the Edo Period (1603-1868).
The unique textile process creates a special, uneven texture, resulting in the fabric’s exceptional feel and high insulation. Even now, it is used in bedsheets, yukata, and hand towels.
The traditional craftsperson behind the Bota-ori fabrics in our set is Takao Iwabu (pictured on the right). His textile manufacturer is the only company specializing in the craft of Bota-ori, which has been passed down in Kagawa since the Edo Period.
Latches and Teaspoons by Hiroaki Matoba
Alongside the teaspoons, the latches that fasten the container and kude-style lid are made by Hiroaki Matoba. He has been working with accessory dies for many years in Takamatsu.
His teaspoons are just the right size for adding or extracting tea leaves from your teapot.
Lisa Yamamoto, Owner of This Crowdfunding Project
My name is Lisa Yamamoto, and I was born and raised in Fujian, China. Since moving to Japan in 1999, I have lived in Takamatsu. That’s also where I also met my husband, a Takamatsu local. Together, we operate several guesthouses and a Chinese tea store in the city.
For me, Kagawa is like a second home. I want to help preserve the wonderful things I love about this region for future generations. These feelings inspire me to work on the Kacchari project.
Our Guesthouses and Tea Store in Takamatsu City
- Kawaramachi Dormitory: https://www.facebook.com/KawaramachiDormitory/
- Konyamachi Guesthouse Kuku: https://www.facebook.com/kuku81com/
- Chinese Tea Store Choix Chinois: https://www.facebook.com/ChoixChinois
Why Create a Chinese Tea Set Using Traditional Japanese Crafts?
In 2012, I studied Chinese tea ceremony etiquette in Taiwan.
Afterward, I ran an antique shop in Takamatsu for some time. However, I often served tea to guests, and the shop slowly shifted into a specialty Chinese tea store.
Meanwhile, I was blessed with opportunities to form friendships with artisans in Takamatsu, due to my husband’s job as a carpenter.
Following the shift to a modern lifestyle, traditional Japanese crafts have been left in a severe state. At the same time, I sensed the various possibilities of traditional crafts while meeting with several artisans in the city.
I was struck by the beauty of both my native culture and the Kagawa craftspeople. If only I could somehow make something to share both cultures with others.
When these thoughts became hard to ignore, I worked out my vision for Kacchari: a product that combines the works of numerous artisans.
“Kacchari” is a blend of several characters. “Ka” (香) means fragrance and is the same character used in “Kagawa;” “cha” (茶) means tea, and “ri” (里) is associated with travel.
I hope people around the world can experience the charms of my beloved Kagawa and Chinese tea no matter where they are, whether indoors or outdoors. This tea set was created with my dearest hopes and wishes.
All items included in the Kacchari set are handmade by local artisans in Kagawa. In particular, the ceramic pieces cannot be mass-produced, being one-of-a-kind products. As a result, I would like to offer a limited number of 30 Kacchari sets, teaware included, for sale at this time.
In addition to the Kacchari set, we have works by each participating artist as project rewards. We hope to give profits from this project and Kacchari sales back to the artisans.