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.
SHIGARAKI (Shiga Prefecture)
Shigaraki ware is an old traditional pottery that has a history of over 1000 years, and is considered one of the ‘Six Old Kilns’ of Japan. The high heat resistance and plasticity of the local sandy clay from the bed of Lake Biwa is ideal for creating large-scale products such as the Tanuki Raccoon dog sculpture, jars, and hibachi grills. Located in the Kinki region of Japan, Shiga prefecture has a very distinct culture and thriving Zen Buddhist traditions that made this region the Mecca for potters. To enjoy the color and texture of the natural white clay, Shigaraki's rice bowl utilizes the fine-grained “Koshigaraki” clay and is vitrified with no glaze.