Bebe Taian: Japanese Dishware, Stylish and Affordable!

November 2, 2010

Japanese Dishware, Stylish and Affordable!

Today I discovered that I had made a sale! <3 It's very exciting to me. The money will not be kept by myself- it is for a friend of mine, whom the jar I sold belongs to.

It was a very beautiful ginger jar, a vintage Japanese piece in gold, pale orange, and paprika red tones. Does this seem like typical Japanese colouring to you? Perhaps not, considering how much some dishes imitate traditional Chinese china techniques and patterns: white porcelain with blue inking. But rethink this concept, please!

Just as clothing is often bright and colourful, not everything designed for the interior of the home is neutral-toned and sparse. Of course, there is a distinct style to Japanese traditional architecture and interior design, comprised of warm golden tones of kiri (paulownia wood) and bamboo, of cedar and rice paper, but doesn't this ginger jar nicely compliment these tones without being overdone or ostentatious? Metallic gold detailing with patterns of dusky orange and buttery yellow harlequin, alternated with a scene of irises and hummingbirds, the cool slate blues of it's wings softening the warmth of the flowers. I hope the buyer of this piece will be very, very happy with it!

For anyone hunting for a ginger jar of their own like this one, please look for the Golden Nectar set by Jamestown China, made in Japan. They are somewhat difficult to find, but occasionally, a piece to this set will crop up. I believe there were bowls and perhaps a vase in the same style. I am unsure what else may have been produced with this pattern.

If you do not believe you would use Japanese dishes because you do not cook Japanese food, do not forget that basic ramen is still sold on nearly every busy Japanese streetcorner! Teriyaki chicken or beef is easy to make, as are potato skewers (delicious potatoes carved into balls, sometimes battered, and then deep-fried). Miso is another easy staple to make for anyone who can boil water and slice mushrooms and tofu. If you are looking for something frequently-used but unique, try a collection of tea or sake cups. Patterns do not necessarily have to match, so long as patterns fit the season and occasion.

Of course, Japanese dishware does not need to be an everyday-use item; bring it out to establish a feeling of celebration! Tea and sake are often served in calming ritual. Tea ceremony is known as 'sado' or 'chado'- another opportunity to use beautiful Japanese-style tea sets!

The vintage plate set above is gorgeous in greens, reds, and blues. It seems to be fall/winter/spring patterned with houou (phoenix), ume (plum blossom), momiji (maple leaves), and a host of other motifs (did you see the gosho guruma, lucky chariot?), the plates are not only beautiful but covered in a design to remind one of the treasures of the seasons. Mochi, stuffed rice balls, or sushi would be excellent served from this set. Of course, special care must be taken with it, as with most delicate pieces. Hand-washing this set with a soft washcloth would be best. I would not get it anywhere near a microwave or dishwasher. It IS for sale! Ohachi (chopsticks) are not included, but for a very small fee, five pairs can be procured for you.

The serving plate and FIVE (not two as shown) small plates together are only $125USD and can be purchased directly through this blog by leaving me a comment expressing interest in the item, or by visiting my shop at bebetaian.artfire.com , where you can see my Feedback ratings easily. Serving plate is approximately 13"x11", the five smaller plates are 5"x4". I'm afraid I cannot read the kanji on the bottom of the set, which is the signature of the company which made them. I think it is "Tokunaga" on the right, and something like "Porcelain Garden" on the left. They are signed 'Japan' in English.

In any case, please consider integrating Japanese style into your home. Even a simple thing like a plate or bowl can be a useful work of art! And how best to appreciate art than to put use to it?

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