This item is the Natsume (棗), which is a container for Matcha (抹茶, powdered green tea). This name was given because its shape resembles the fruit of Natsume (棗, the Japanese name of jujube). In the past, black lacquerware Natsumes were common. However, with the changing times, various designs have been produced. In tea ceremonies, there are two main types of Matcha containers. One is called the Chaire (茶入), a tool for advanced users, basically used for storing strong tea. On the other hand, the Natsume is a container for thin tea and is basically made of wood and lacquered. However, as mentioned above, there are pottery Natsume and Natsumes made from bamboo or Japanese paper with lacquer.
About the design, its theme is the Mirugai (海松貝). Various types of shells, such as bivalves and snails, are depicted on this Natsume. The Miru (海松) refers to seaweed. It was given its name because this seaweed is similar to the shape of pine needles. A picture of shellfish(es) eating this seaweed, or simply a combination of shellfish(es) and this seaweed, is called the Mirugai pattern. The designs that depict seashells, seaweed, waves, pine trees, and other seascapes are traditional Yusoku Monyou (有職文様, traditional patterns used for costumes, furnishings, architecture in court noble society after the Heian period), and are called the Kaifu (海賦) patterns. It can be inferred that these patterns were both familiar and prestigious to Japanese people in the past, and the fact that they are used to decorate elegant tea ceremony utensils such as this Natsume gives a glimpse of the tastes of the people back then. The black lacquer base is richly decorated with gold, and not only is it practical as a container, and it boasts a beautiful appearance that makes it seem to be a work of art. You could use this item as a tea caddy and enjoy appreciation as an interior.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
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【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Natsume and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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