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Bringing Significance to the Occasion with Earthenware Ceramics

While Japan's porcelain ceramics--like those from the famous area of Arita--are well-known internationally, Japan also has a long history of using earthenware. Porcelain gets all of the love because of its translucent-white color and light weight, making it ideal for tea time and a light lunch. However, when the sun goes down and you need to add some weight to the occasion, earthenware will never let you down.

In this article we'll take a look at three pieces of TSUKI earthenware: their Katakuchi Lipped Sake Server, Guinomi Sake Cup, and Flat Oval Plate.

The products we used:


TSUKI logo

Marumi Yasuda Kawara produces the TSUKI line of handmade earthenware ceramics. Tsuki is the Japanese word for the Moon. A fitting name for a line of night-time kitchenware.

Lipped Sake Server

Sake Server

The first impression I had when I picked up the sake server was both the heft and grip. I hope you and your guests are thirsty, because this server is *big. While they are handcrafted and slightly different from each other, they can hold approximately 280ml, or 1.2 cups of liquid. I doubt you'll need seconds of sake.

Sake Cup

Sake Server and cup

The cup, on the other hand, is typical of sake cups. It's lightweight and petite. The tapered bottoms of both the server and cup give my hands some extra leverage to stabilize them, which is especially important for the server.

Flat Oval Plate

Sake Server

The plate is especially chunky. The 23cm mid-sized model is around 950g, or about 2lbs. It's heavy, but don't expect to use it like a normal dinner plate. It doesn't have any lips and is smaller than a typical American-size dinner plate. You should expect to put one large item or just a few small items on it. It's best used to add weight and significance to otherwise dainty delights.

The gray coating of all of these TSUKI products is strangely soft and rough. The surface is slightly rough and secure in my hands, but feels soft when I gently glide my fingers over it. The server I have feels softer than the cup, but that may change over time. Of course, these are handcrafted, so slight variations are expected.

A couple of things to keep in mind: The coating contains iron, making it unsafe for microwaving. If you have a metal allergy, you may need to limit your use of these items.

A couple of things to keep in mind: The coating contains iron, making it unsafe for microwaving. If you have a metal allergy, you may need to limit your use of these items.

Also, the coating can become discolored from hand-oils and such, but the discoloration cleans off easily.

Who are these for?

Full TSUKI set

Because of their dark color and considerable heft, these TSUKI earthenware ceramics feel most appropriately used by men during some night-time man-to-man conversations. Most women will find them a bit unwieldy. I can hold the server comfortably in one hand, but I expect most women would need to hold it with two hands to feel secure. The cup, on the other hand, can be comfortably used by anybody.

You could impress a potential male business client with them. Holding the server makes me want to shake a man's hand. Holding it right now gives me the urge to run outside and chase down a businessman. "Hey, stop running and get back here! Let me shake your hand!"

Just imagine some beautiful, pre-cut steak sitting on the plate. Or some freshly made Nukazuke pickles. Ooooh. That'll get the conversation going. The CEO will be ready to sign the contract before he's done chewing. He'll forget you just dragged him off the street with a powerful handshake inspired by the sake server, believe me.

Final Thoughts

Garnish on TSUKI plate

The TSUKI line of handmade earthenware ceramics produced by Marumi Yasuda Kawara provides an excellent option for those seeking to add some weight to their kitchenware. The Katakuchi Lipped Sake Server, Guinomi Sake Cup, and Flat Oval Plate are all well-crafted and have a unique gray coating. While the server and plate are better suited for men due to their considerable heft, women can enjoy them too (as long as they use both hands). These earthenware pieces are perfect for adding weight and significance to an occasion and make great conversation starters.

The products we used: