By Kenji Chida
The natural beauty of bizenyaki augments the flavor of sake. Whether you decide to drink the sake cold or hot, it will taste even better by drinking it out of Bizenyaki. Each tokkuri (decanter) and chokko (cup) is one of a kind, made exclusively by one of Bizen’s famous potter families, who have been creating these artful and functional pieces for over a hundred years.
Bizenyaki earthenware is made from clay that has been cut from the hills of Bizen City. Whether you choose to use the cups to drink sake, tea, coffee or beer, you will immediately notice the difference and may find it hard to return to normal cups and glasses again.
Of course there are various forms of yakimono or kiln baked pottery throughout Japan. There is even another in Okayama called Ushimadoyaki. What separates the varieties is the clay they are made from. The area the clay comes from becomes part of the pottery’s namesake. In the case of Bizen, the clay is a reddish brown color and when it is fired it becomes a deeper brown with accents determined by the potter.
There are parallels between bizenyaki and sake production. Sake like bizenyaki is a crafted product that often comes from a family business. Family breweries still exist in Japan much in the way bizenyaki originates from family kilns that are passed from generation to generation. Producers take pride in the history of their family brand and the area where their business is located.
Good sake often comes in wooden boxes so I figured, “let’s put them together”. I had this box made to complete the set. It consists of two cups, a decanter and a bottle of sake. Of course the best thing would be to go out and explore Bizen City and Kurashiki City and find these items yourself but you can get the set from our online shop delivered to your door anywhere in the world.
When you finish the sake you’ll have a reusable bottle and a wooden box for odds and ends. Of course the bizenyaki will provide you with endless enjoyment of each bottle of sake you drink.
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I was born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland in the USA after which I moved to New York City at the age of 21. I lived, studied and worked in New York for five years then moved to Okayama in 1998 at the age of 26. After living in Japan for 5 years I decided to try to naturalize. I was granted Japanese citizenship at the age of 33. I am interested in education, political philosophy, and Japanese society. I enjoy playing softball with my kids, driving and motorcycles. I can't say I enjoy running but I often join local 5k races. I want more people from abroad to come to Japan for a visit and I hope that some portion of that group decides to stay. Japan is for everyone!