THE rice bowl is designed with human hand in mind: the 12 centimeter diameter of the rice bowl is derived from the average diameter of a Japanese person’s hand when a half-circle is made with the thumb and pointing finger. In other words, it is the perfect size that naturally fits a hand.
The height is set at half the diameter, which is 6 centimeters, as the ratio between the pointing finger and thumb is said to be exactly 2:1.
Once the shape is defined, THE rice bowl is made in five different regions of Japan that are known for their distinct pottery styles, in order to offer a comprehensive view on Japanese pottery's various expressions: the styles include Arita (Saga Prefecture), Kiyomizu (Kyoto Prefecture), Shigaraki (Shiga Prefecture), Seto (Aichi Prefecture), and Mashiko (Tochigi Prefecture).
To enhance and emphasize the characteristics of each style, the clay, glaze, and finish are all white-colored.
MASHIKO (Tochigi Prefecture)
Mashiko is known for potters such as “Living National Treasure” Shoji Hamada, who also is the founder of the “Mingei” Japanese folk art movement in the 1920’s along with Soetsu Yanagi and Kanjiro Kawai. Mashiko thrived in the late Edo period as it was sent as a gift to the Shogunate, and even in the latter years of the Meiji period in the Kanto region for manufacturing roof tiles. Mashiko's rice bowl is glazed with the Nukajiro Yu glaze, one of ‘six Mashiko glazes’.