Technical and Japanese language terms used in the HJCCC are presented here alphabetically. Each term is defined here and those that describe elements present on HJCCC items will link to examples along with the term definition. For full citations for works cited can be found on the About page.


Aizu-Hongo (会津本郷)
- A ceramic center that encompasses Aizu-Hongo and Aizu-Wakamatsu in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan. Kilns in this area began producing porcelain around 1800, which was distributed to Tokyo and to markets throughout the northeastern portion of Honshu. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Aizu-Hongo wares were also exported to the United States (Crueger et al. 2006:228). Aizu-Hongo teapots decorated with sometsuke (染付) peony motifs appear in American import catalogs from 1907 and 1916 (Van Patten 1997:11,16). Shark-skin (鮫肌釉)) glazed teapots, also likely from Aizu-Hongo, appear in 1914 and 1916 catalogs (Litts 1988:44; Van Patten 1994:37). These catalogs illustrate dobin (⼟瓶), kyusu (急須), and teipotto (ティーポット) forms.
Asagao (朝顔)
- Morning glory; literally "morning face," this small trumpeted flower is known for blooming primarily in the morning (Dower 1971:64).


Botan (牡丹)
- A peony. As a decorative element the botan flower can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the chrysanthemum or lotus. It is often pictured alone or paired with lions or butterflies (Gorham 1971:209; Ross 2012:20).


Chawan/Jawan (茶碗)
- Literally "tea bowl," this term can be applied to a variety of similarly shaped bowls/cups used for tea, soup, rice, or other foods (Crueger et al. 2006:285; Leland Bibb 2015, elec. comm.). When used in a sentence or preceded by adjectives, chawan is often converted to jawan for ease of pronunciation.
Choka (彫花)
- Literally "carving flower," choka refers to carved or incised decoration on ceramics. Wooden, bamboo, or metal tools can be used to carve decorative elements into a vessel's surface before the paste has fully dried. Carved elements like flowers are called obori (凹彫り), while incised lines are known as senbori (線彫り). When carving creates a low-relief negative pattern by removing the background, this is called hirabori (平彫り) (Crueger et al. 2006:285; Simpson et al. 2014:60).
Choko (猪⼝)
- A general term for a sake cup, used here to refer to sake cups of indeterminate size or function. Choko are usually smaller than guinomi (ぐい吞み) but come in a variety of shapes and sizes (Simpson et al. 2015:91). "Wild boar mouth," the literal translation of choko, refers to one common choko shape.


Diapers (繋ぎ紋・繋ぎ文 or 乱れ紋・乱れ文)
- Small, repeating, and often geometric designs that cover an entire area of a vessel (Gorham 1971:220). Examples include the seven jewels (七宝), turtle shell (亀甲 ), and seigaiha (青海波) patterns.
Doban or Doban Tensha (銅板・銅板転写)
- Literally "copper plate transcription," doban and doban tensha refer to transferprint decoration-- decoration that has been applied, or transferred, from engraved metal plates (Ross 2009:156).
Dobin (⼟瓶)
- Dobin literally translates to "earthen bottle or jar" and refers to a type of teapot with a round body and a handle, frequently made of bamboo, that attaches to ceramic lugs on the top of the vessel. A slightly larger teapot, the dobin was traditionally used to serve tea at family meals (Cort 2000:230–231; Ross 2012:10–12).
Dobin No Futa (土瓶の蓋)
- A lid for a dobin-style teapot. See Dobin (⼟瓶) and Futa (蓋).
Don (丼)
- A dish that usually consists of rice, egg, and/or vegetables and meat. Don is a shortened version of the name given to the vessel in which don is usually served: a large, deep bowl with a lid that is called a donburi hatchi or donburi batchi (丼鉢) (Costello et al. 2001:35).
Donburi Hatchi/Batchi (丼鉢)
- A large, deep bowl used for soup or a dish called don (Costello et al. 2001:35; Simpson et al. 1980:83). The term donburi hachi, which is sometimes pronounced as donburi bachi, translates to "bowl."


Edo Era (江戸時代)
- The years between 1600 and 1868 are known as the Edo era (or Edo jidai / 江戸時代) and are also sometimes referred to as the Tokugawa Era (Tokugawa Jidai/徳川時代) . These names refer to the Tokugawa family, whose members served as the military rulers during this era and to the city of Edo (modern Tokyo) in which the ruling Tokugawa family lived (Gordon 2009:11).
Etsuke (絵付・絵付け)
- Literally "apply painting," etsuke is hand-painted decoration that is applied either over or under a glaze (Crueger et al. 2006:286). See Uwa-Etsuke (上絵付け) and Shita-Etsuke (下絵付け) for further information.


Fukizumi (吹墨)
- A decorative stenciling method. Fukizumi, which literally translates to "blow ink," is a method of blowing or spraying ink over the top of a stencil, which is then removed from the vessel leaving voids in the pigment (Crueger et al. 2006:51, 286; Ross 2009:155). Sprayed pigment (fuki-e / 吹き絵) can be applied with or without stencils and is often used to produce shading effects known as bokanshi. Fuki-e methods have been used since the seventeenth century for cobalt-colored decoration, and since 1893 with other pigment colors (Jahn 2004:342).
Futa (蓋)
- The general term for a lid, including bowl or jar lids (Simpson et al. 1980:94). See Dobin no Futa (土瓶の蓋).


Gohan Chawan/Jawan (ご飯茶碗)
- A rice bowl. Many researchers refer to these as rice/soup bowls because they could be used for either foods (Bibb 2013:[4]; Costello et al. 2001:34). See Chawan/Jawan (茶碗).
Gosu (呉須)
- Pigment made of natural cobalt (~5% cobalt content). Historically, magnesium, iron, and aluminum impurities gave this glaze a greyish-blue tone (Crueger et al. 2006:286; Ross 2012:5). Around 1870, gosu was replaced by a chemically-produced and less expensive cobalt oxide that creates a brighter, more intense blue (Jahn 2004:342). While most of the ceramics in this collection are decorated with chemically-produced cobalt, AACC-99-009 appears to have been hand painted with natural gosu pigment.
Guinomi (ぐい吞み)
- Guinomi, which literally means "gulp drinking," is the term for a large sake cup. Some guinomi can be as large as small teacups (Bibb 2013:[4]; Gorham 1971:185).


Hajiki (土師器)
- The general name for post-Yayoi (300 BC–300 AD) earthenware (Simpson et al. 2014:112). Unglazed earthenware is also known as doki (土器) (Crueger et al. 2006:284).
Hanjiki (半磁器)
- A low-grade or half-porcelain made of a cleaned, white clay that contains toseki (porcelain stone), whitening, and feldspar. Hanjiki is fired at the lower end of porcelain temperatures (1,200–1,250 degrees Celsius) and is described as "midway between porcelain and stoneware in appearance" (Crueger et al. 2006:287).
Hata (旗)
- Flag; Japan's national flag is officially known as Nisshoki (日章旗) (Dower 1971:112).
Hirabachi (平鉢)
- A large serving dish/plate. This vessel has a deeper profile than other dish/plate forms such as the ozara (⼤⽫ / large plate), a fact that is reflected in the term's literal translation: "flat bowl" (Simpson et al. 2014:87,90).
Ho-o Bird (鳳凰)
- The ho-o bird (also spelled houou) is a mythical creature adapted from Chinese mythology that incorporates parts of several creatures such as the rooster, mandarin duck, peacock, crane, and pheasant. This bird was misidentified as a phoenix or a "flying turkey" by Western consumers in the early twentieth century (Ross 2012:20,23; Walter 2012:125, 129). Ho-o birds are the main decorative element on Phoenix Ware, vessels decorated with a sometsuke transferprint (染付銅板) design that were popular exports from the early 1910s until the 1930s (Van Patten 1994:60); see Phoenix Ware (鳳凰器).


Imari (伊万里)
- Although this term is somewhat ambiguous, Imari is generally used to describe porcelains produced at various kilns in the Saga or Nagasaki prefectures beginning in the seventeenth century. These early porcelains were decorated with gosu-sometsuke (呉須染付 / natural cobalt pigment applied under the glaze) or iro-e (色絵 / polychrome overglazes) designs and were sold to Japanese markets or exported overseas through the port of Imari (Shimura 2008:3-5; Jahn 2004:345).
Iro Doban (色銅板)
- Literally "colored copper plate;" used here to describe polychrome pigments or pigment colors other than cobalt that are transferprinted under a colorless glaze (Ross 2009:156; 2012:8). See Doban or Doban Tensha (銅板・銅板転写).
Iro-e (色絵)
- The general term for polychrome enamels painted over a colorless glaze on porcelain, stoneware, or earthenware (Jahn 2004:343). Iro-e translates to "colored painting."
Iro-e Jiki (色絵磁器)
- Polychrome enamels hand-painted over a colorless glaze. Overglaze enamels are also used on stonewares, but iro-e jiki, or "colored painting porcelain," refers specifically to overglaze enamels on porcelain (Wilson 1995:114–15,139–42). These wares are commonly fired at temperatures between 700 and 850 degrees Celsius (Crueger et. al 2006:288). Iro-e jiki enjoyed great popularity, particularly on export markets, during the Meiji and Taisho eras (Costello et al. 2001:35).
Iroyu/Irogusuri (色釉)
- A colored glaze. A few examples are seiji (青磁 / Winter Green), kaki (柿 / persimmon), or kiseto (黄瀬戸 / pale yellow) (Simpson et al. 2014:73).
Issei (一世)
- The term for Japanese immigrants who arrived in North America prior to the Immigration Act of 1924. This term is derived from the Japanese word for "first generation." Descendants of Issei are known by the terms Nisei (second generation), Sansei (third generation), and Yonsei (fourth generation) (Densho Encyclopedia 2017).


Janome (蛇目・蛇の目)
- A circular depression within the footring on a vessel’s base, sometimes called a "bulls-eye" recess (Ross 2012:10) or by its literal translation: "snake's eye."
Jawan (茶碗)
- Another way of pronouning Chawan. See Chawan/Jawan (茶碗)
Jiki (磁器)
- Porcelain; a ceramic material composed of kaolin clay, quartz, and feldspar that has been fired at temperatures between 1,250 and 1,350 degrees Celsius (Simpson et al. 2014:112).


Kaede (楓)
- Maple tree; a decorative element recalling the beauty of maple leaves and fall (Dower 1971:62).
Kampin Tokkuri (燗瓶徳利)
- Literally "heating bottle decanter," this is a type of sake decanter with a round body and tall neck that was popular in the Meiji era (Cort 2000:231).
Kannyu (貫入)
- Literally translated as "penetrating/piercing in" and often referred to as a crackle glaze, this type of glaze contains a network of hairline cracks, which often expand across the entire surface of a vessel. This intentionally-produced decorative effect is achieved during the firing process and is the result of pairing glaze and paste materials that have different rates of expansion. Crackle glazes are common on Satsuma-style wares (Creuger et al. 2006:37, 289).
Karakusa (唐草)
- A tendril or "arabesque" pattern that appears in various stylized iterations. It is frequently used in the background of ho-o bird (or Phoenix Ware / 鳳凰器) designs (Ross 2012:20,23). This decorative element is derived from Chinese precedents and literally translates to "Chinese grass/weeds."
Katagami (型紙)
- Literally "molding paper," this is a decorative technique that involves rubbing cobalt-colored pigment through a stencil (originally made of paper) to create a pattern of punctuated lines or dots under the glaze (Bibb 2001:5–6). Katagami vessels are often heavily decorated on both interior and exterior surfaces and frequently include yoraku (瓔珞) designs along the interior rim. Developed in the Edo era, katagami was most popular on Meiji-era mass-produced porcelains (Bibb 2001:5-6) prior to the development of transferprint technology. Katagami decoration had largely disappeared from the Japanese market by about 1920 (Ross 2009:156).
Kikkomon (亀甲紋・亀甲文)
- Turtle shell diaper pattern (Simpson et al. 2014:72). See Diapers (繋ぎ紋・繋ぎ文 or 乱れ紋・乱れ文).
Kiku (菊)
- Chrysanthemum; a popular decorative element and a symbol of the Japanese emperor (Walter 2012:125; Dower 1971:52).
Kikusui (菊水)
- An export mark that features a chrysanthemum half submerged in water that is frequently paired with the English phrase "Trade Mark/Made in Japan." This mark has been identified on ceramics found at archaeological sites throughout the West that were occupied between approximately 1900 and 1945 (Burton 2005:96; Costello et al. 2001:33–34; Costello and Maniery 1988:27, 83; Ross 2012:25–26).
Kiri (桐)
- Paulownia flower; a three-leafed flower that is associated with the Japanese imperial family (especially the empress) and that was widely used by samurai families in the Edo era. In Chinese mythology, the paulownia is the only tree that the phoenix will land on when it visits earth (Dower 1971:68-69).
Kobachi (⼩鉢)
- A small bowl that is often used for side dishes (Ross 2012:10; Simpson et al. 1980:83).
Kohiki (粉引)
- White slip decoration. Kohiki is usually applied by dipping the majority of an unfired vessel into white slip, which sometimes leaves finger marks in the glaze along the base of the vessel (Crueger et al. 2006:28,289). Kohiki translates to "applying powder."
Komori (蝙蝠・こうもり)
- Bats. Gorham (1971:200) claims the use of bats as a symbol of future happiness is based on Chinese ceramics. Dower (1971:88) explains that this is because the second ideograph in the word bat can be read as fuku, which "can be written with an ideograph meaning good fortune." Bats were commonly paired with peaches on Chinese ceramics and this motif also appears on Japanese ceramics, though it is often executed in distinctive ways.
Kozara (⼩⽫)
- A small, shallow dish/plate (Ross 2012:10; Simpson et al. 2014:87).
Kumo (雲)
- Cloud. As decorative elements on both Chinese and Japanese ceramics, cloud depictions can be either naturalistic or abstract but often adhere to one of several established stylized forms. Stenciling, resist, hand painting, and washes are all used to create cloud elements on ceramics. Clouds are common features in rim or border designs such as the Cloud and Thunder or Cloud and Mountain (雲と山 / Kumo to Yama) pattern (Arts 1983:75-77, 82; Dower 1971:40).
Kumo to Yama (雲と山)
- Cloud and Mountain; a pattern derived from Chinese precedents that commonly appears along vessel rims, especially on Phoenix Ware (鳳凰器) forms (Oats 1984:18).
Kushime (櫛目)
- Combing. The surface of a vessel is incised with multiple parallel lines using a toothed tool, such as a bamboo comb or metal hacksaw blade (Simpson et al. 2014:58). This surface treatment can be purely decorative but is also used to create the grating surface of a suribachi (すり鉢・擂り鉢).
Kyusu (急須)
- A small teapot designed for individual use. This teapot has a horizontal handle that projects from the vessel side at 90 degrees from the spout (Costello et al. 2001:35; Ross 2012:12; Walter 2012:111).
Kyusu no Totte (急須の取っ手・急須の把手)
- A handle for a kyusu-style teapot (Simpson et al. 2014:106–107). See Kyusu (急須).


Mamezara (⾖⽫)
- A tiny, shallow dish/plate used to hold condiments or sweets (Walter 2012:128). The name mamezara, which literally means "bean plate," is a reference to this vessel's smallness.
Matsu (松)
- Pine; a decorative element that is associated with strength, prosperity, and longevity. Pine needles in pairs symbolize unfailing devotion (Gorham 1971:209–210).
Meiji Era (明治時代)
- The Meiji era, or Meiji jidai, consists of the years between 1868 and 1912. Named for the "enlightened rule" of the Meiji emperor who was restored to head of government at the end of the Tokugawa era (Gordon 2009:61). This era can be further divided into Early (1868–1885), Middle (1885–1895), and Late (1895–1912) periods.
Mingei Undo (民藝運動・民芸運動)
- The Japanese Folk-Craft Movement. Founded in 1926 by writer and intellectual Yanagi Soetsu and potters Hamada Shoji, Kawai Kanjiro, and Tomimoto Kenkichi, this movement advocated for the reinvigoration of rural craft traditions and the incorporation of traditional Japanese aesthetics into the design of everyday objects (Brandt 1996:9; Crueger et al. 2006:19; Jones 2014:143).
Mitsu-Domoe (三つ巴)
- Threefold swirl. A domoe is a comma-shaped symbol drawn in a circular swirl pattern. Mitsu domoe feature three domoe, while the more common yin-yang (陰陽 / yin-yo) features two domoe in an interlocking swirl (Gorham 1971:220). Mitsu-domoe often appear in association with Buddhist and Shino shrines and represent the interplay of the cosmos, the earth, and human kind. See Yin-Yo (陰陽).
Momo (桃)
- Peach. Sometimes depicted alone as an auspicious symbol and sometimes paired with bats (Dower 1971:70). See Komori (蝙蝠・こうもり).


Nadeshiko (撫子)
- Pink; a type of dianthus that has jagged petal tips. Both wild (native) and cultivated varieties of this flower grow in Japan (Dower 1979:72-73). Nadeshiko are sometimes associated with womanhood.
Nakazara/Chuzara (中⽫)
- A nakazara (also pronounced chuzara) is a medium-sized, shallow dish/plate. Rim diameters are generally between 18 and 21 cm (Ross 2012:10; Simpson et al. 2014:87).
Namasu-Zara (膾⽫)
- Pickle dish. A deep dish with a large diameter footring that is used to serve pickled foods (Ross 2012:10). Many Meiji-era namasu-zara have scalloped rims and janome (蛇目・蛇の目)-style footrings.
Nami (波)
- Wave. According to Dower (1971:44), wave designs became particularly popular after the twelfth century; waves can symbolize elegance, power, and resilience and are common as landscape elements or border designs (Arts 1983:103).


Oni (鬼)
- Oni are a class of ghosts/demons that are more broadly known as Yokai (妖怪). Although many variations exists, oni can often be identified by their near-human form, horned or occasionally beaked faces, sharp teeth, and three-fingered or clawed hands. In art, oni are frequently depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron rods or clubs. While an oni's temperment may range from innocently mischievous to murderous, they are generally understood to be dangerous and/or frightening creatures (Foster 2015:117-119; Walley and the University of Oregon 2019). A wide variety of oni and other yokai can be seen in this digital exhibition by the University of Oregon. <>
Ozara (⼤⽫)
- Ozara are large, shallow dish/plates with rims that are generally more than 21 cm in diameter (Simpson et al. 2014:87).


Phoenix Ware (鳳凰器)
- Phoenix Ware is defined by a transferprint pattern that most commonly includes images of ho-o birds, karakusa tendrils, and paulownia (kiri) and chrysanthemum (kiku) flowers, along with one of several stylized rim designs (Dower 1971:52, 68-69; Oats 1984:18). Although the mythological ho-o bird is Chinese in origin, it came to symbolize imperial authority in Japan and is often combined with other imperial symbols like the paulownia flower and the chrysanthemum (Jahn 2004:343; Walter 2012:125, 129). This pattern was very popular on exports from the early 1910s until the 1930s and primarily appears on Western-style forms (Van Patten 1994:60). Despite is primacy as an export ware, Phoenix Ware designs have been found at Japanese American and Japanese Canadian archaeological sites (Costello et al. 2001:33; Ross 2012:18). Also see Ho-o Bird (鳳凰).


Saka-Bin (酒瓶)
- Literally, "sake bottle," this is the term for a ceramic sake bottle (Bibb 2013:[4]). Saka-bin are often made of hanjiki (半磁器) or stoneware and covered in a bluish white or greyish white exterior glaze (Ross 2012:12).
Sakazuki (盃)
- Sakazuki are smaller sake cups with wide rims and shallow profiles. They often feature tall or pronounced footrings.
Sakura (桜・櫻)
- Cherry trees and blossoms. Cherry blossoms are common decorative elements on Japanese ceramics and represent the people of Japan; when combined with chrysanthemums they represent the unity of the Japanese people and the emperor (Walter 2012:123). As decorative elements, cherry blossoms can often be distinguished from plum blossoms by their heart-shaped petals (Dower 1971:50-51).
Samehada-Gusuri (鮫肌釉)
- See Sharkskin Glaze (鮫肌釉).
Sansui Dobin (山水土瓶)
- Literally "landscape earthen teapot." This style of teapot is most often associated with Mashiko-area potteries and the Mingei Undo (民藝運動・民芸運動). In 1938 a sansui dobin decorated by Minigawa Matsu gained international recognition by winning first place at the First International Craft Exhibition in Berlin (Crueger et al. 2006:220).
Sara (⽫)
- A dish/plate (Crueger et al. 2006:293). Used here to describe dish/plates of indeterminate size or function.
Seigaiha (青海波)
- Blue sea wave diaper; a repeating pattern of concentric semicircles that resembles the appearance of sea waves (Simpson et al. 2014:72).
Seiji (青磁)
- A blueish-green glaze similar to Chinese Winter Green (also called Celadon) that is applied to both porcelain and stonewares (Crueger et al. 2006:64,293; Ross 2012:19).
Sekki (石器)
- A type of Japanese stoneware with a non-porous paste that is composed of colored clay and fired at temperatures between 1,200 and 1,300 degrees Celsius. This paste is impervious to liquid and so can be left unglazed (Crueger et al. 2006:287; Simpson et al. 2014:112).
Sen (銭)
- Coin (Dower 1971:108). Images of both Chinese and Japanese coins appear on Japanese ceramics as decorative motifs.
Senbori (線彫・線彫り)
- Translating to "line carving," senbori are incised lines or bands. These are often carved with a bamboo or metal tool while the paste is leather-hard (Simpson et al. 2014:60).
Sennin (仙人)
- Immortals. Based on Chinese depictions of the Seven Daoist Immortals, Japanese Sennin (often hermit immortals) can be depicted as human figures or referenced by one of their associated attributes: a fan, a sword, a gourd, two castanets/tablets, a basket of flowers, a drum made of bamboo tubes and rods, a flute, and a lotus flower (Arts 1983:78; Gorham 1971:215).
Seven Jewels (七宝)
- The Seven Jewels, or shippo, pattern consists of interlocking circles in a diaper (繋ぎ紋・繋ぎ文)(Ross 2012:21-22).
Sharkskin Glaze (鮫肌釉)
- Sharkskin glazes have a distinctively bumpy surface that is created by contraction and cracking of the glaze during firing. This glazing method was popular at a number of potteries during the Meiji period, some of which began exporting sharkskin wares to America in 1885. This glaze can also be called same-gusuri or samehada-gusuri (Crueger et al. 2006:293; Ross 2009:159-160).
Shita-Etsuke (下絵付け)
- Hand-painted pigments applied under a colorless glaze. Historically, cobalt, iron, and copper were the most frequently-used compounds in underglaze pigments. When cobalt-colored pigments are used exclusively on hand-painted porcelain, the resulting designs are classified as sometsuke. Iron and copper compounds, which are frequently hand painted onto to stone- or earthenwares, produce brown and yellow (iron) or green (copper) decoration (Crueger et al. 2006:29,286; Simpson et al. 2014:69).
Sho Chiku Bai (松竹梅)
- Also known as the Three Friends or the Three Friends of Winter, Sho Chiku Bai is a decorative motif adapted from Chinese ceramics that incorporates elements of pine, plum, and bamboo. These three plants are associated with winter because pine and bamboo remain green year-round and plum is among the first trees to flower in the spring. Together these elements represent the attributes of longevity (pine), scholarly and pure spirit (plum), and flexibility (bamboo) (Gorham 1971:2,010; Ross 2012:21). This design appeared frequently on porcelain made during the Edo era and its use spread to nearly all Japanese ceramic centers during the Meiji era (Jahn 2004:346). Sho Chiku Bai is not a direct translation of pine, plum, and bamboo (matsu, ume, and take in Japanese) but is rather the Chinese pronunciation of the Kanji characters, a fact that highlights the ongoing and reciprocal exchange between Chinese and Japanese potters.
Showa Era (昭和時代)
- In Japan the years between 1926 and 1989 are known as the Showa era, or Showa jidai (昭和時代). This era began with the death of the Taisho emperor and encompasses the rule of his son, the Showa or "shining peace" emperor (Gordon 2009:165).
Shoyu Sashi (醤油差し)
- A small spouted jar or jug used to serve shoyu, or soy sauce (Simpson et al. 2015:89). Shoyu sashi literally means "soy sauce pour."
Soba-Choko (そば猪⼝)
- A small, straight-sided cup intended to hold sauce for soba or udon noodles. Cold noodles are dipped into the cup with chopsticks (Costello et al. 2001:36).
Sometsuke (染付)
- Literally meaning "apply dye," sometsuke refers to exclusively cobalt-colored pigment applied under a colorless glaze on porcelain vessels. Sometsuke is frequently applied through stenciling (染付型紙 / sometsuke katagami) or transferprinting (染付銅板 / sometsuke doban) but unless otherwise specified refers to hand-painted decoration (Crueger et al. 2006:29,295).
Sometsuke Doban (染付銅板)
- Transferprint using only cobalt-colored pigment; see Sometsuke (染付) (Crueger et al. 2006:29,295).
Sometsuke Katagami (染付型紙)
- Stenciling using only cobalt-colored pigment; see Sometsuke (染付) (Crueger et al. 2006:29,295).
Sorori Tokkuri (曽呂利徳利)
- A type of sake decanter with a tall, slender body and a "tulip"-shaped rim or straight neck (Cort 2000:231).
Sumi Hajiki (墨弾き・墨はじき)
- A decorative technique that uses areas of resist, sumi hajiki literally means "ink repel." Sumi hajiki is created by applying ink under areas of colored pigment. During firing, the ink burns off, which also removes any overlying color and leaves voids in the pigment (Wilson 1995:118). This technique is commonly used to crease veins in leaves.
Suribachi (すり鉢・擂り鉢)
- A mortar bowl with parallel incised grooves (櫛目 / kushime) on the interior that create an abrasive surface. Suribachi, literally "rubbing bowls," are used for grinding sesame seeds into a paste or mixing miso with other ingredients. Brown glazes and slips are common exterior treatments (Ross 2012:13-14; Simpson et al. 2014:58,89).
Suyehiro (末広)
- Fan. Because of their expanding shape, fans can represent good fortune (Gorham 1971:222). Translated literally, suyehiro means "widening end."
Suzume (雀)
- Sparrow. As decorative elements, sparrows are commonly paired with bamboo (Dower 1971:99).


Taisho Era (大正時代)
- The Taisho era, or Taisho jidai (大正時代), consists of the years between 1912 and 1926. This era began with the death of the Meiji emperor and encompasses the rule of his son, the Taisho emperor (Gordon 2009:127).
Takarabune (宝船)
- The takarabune, or treasure ship, carries the seven gods of good fortune (七福神/ Shichi Fukujin) into ports on New Year's Eve to distribute treasure. For this reason, it is associated with New Year festivities. It is also associated with good fortune in business, particularly for merchants and urban workers. The takarabune is usually depicted as a Chinese-style ship with a single mast and a sail adorned with the character for good fortune. It is also often paired with a crane and/or turtle (Ashkenazi 2003:247-249, 266; Gorham 1971:223). Ashkenazi (2003:247-249) calls the Takarabune one of the most commonly displayed mythological images in modern Japan.
Take (竹)
- Bamboo. One of the more popular design elements, bamboo symbolizes strength, endurance, integrity, purity, and nobility. It is often accompanied by plum and pine in the Sho Chiku Bai (松竹梅) motif or by the phoenix and paulownia (Dower 1971:46).
Teipotto (ティーポット)
- A type of teapot. Teipotto have Western-style handles and spouts that are attached to the teapot sides at 180 degrees from one another (Nakajima 1999:81). Teipotto are sometimes also called hama-dobin. Hama is thought to be derived from Yokohama, a port engaged in Western trade in the Meiji and Taisho eras, while dobin refers to a type of teapot.
Toki (陶器)
- A type of Japanese stoneware with a slightly porous paste that is composed of colored clay and fired at temperatures between 1,000 and 1,300 degrees Celsius. Because they are not completely impervious to liquid, toki vessels are generally glazed (Crueger et al. 2006:287).
Tokin Kodai (兜巾高台)
- "Helmet foot;" a type of vessel foot that has a raised cone in the center of its footring (Simpson et al. 2014:54).
Tokkuri (徳利)
- Sake decanter (Bibb 2013:[4]); used here as the general term for a sake decanter of any size.
Tsuki (月)
- Moon. The moon frequently appears as a landscape or decorative element on ceramics; it is sometimes associated with elegance or with poetry (Dower 1971:41).
Tsuru (鶴)
- Crane. A symbol of good fortune, longevity, happiness, and friendship that is common on Japanese ceramics. For examples from archaeological contexts see Costello and Maniery 1988:58, 59; Paraso et. al 2013:5.22; and Walter 2012:127. For non-archaeological examples see Morse 1901:8.
Tsutsu (筒)
- Literally "cylinder," this is one possible teacup shape. Japanese teacups come in a variety of shapes, from hemispherical to cylindrical (tsutsu jo / 筒状 or tsutsu gata / 筒型) (Simpson et al. 2014:94).


Ume (梅)
- Plum tree or flower; a common decorative element that is a symbol of womanhood or strength in adversity (Gorham 1971:210–211).
Uwa-Etsuke (上絵付け)
- Hand-painted enamels applied on top of a glaze. Overglaze enamels are common in a number of colors, such as green, yellow, blue, purple, and black. Historically, red (赤/ aka) was the most frequent overglaze color and the term aka-e (赤絵 / red painting) can be used as a general term for enamel painting (Crueger et. al 2006:286; Simpson et al. 2014:69).
Uzumaki (渦巻き・渦巻)
- Spiral or whirlpool; this decorative element is frequently found on fabrics and as a diaper pattern. See Diapers (繋ぎ紋・繋ぎ文 or 乱れ紋・乱れ文).


Yama (山)
- Mountain. Common decorative elements, mountains are often associated with ambition and success (Dower 1971:42).
Yin-Yo (陰陽)
- Yin-yang; see Mitsu-Domoe (三つ巴).
Yoraku (瓔珞)
- Literally "necklace," yoraku are rim designs and are frequently found on the interior of katagami (型紙) wares. Some of the more common yoraku variations feature pendants, tassels, pendant triangles, or tassels with chrysanthemums (Ross 2012:21; Takenobu 1942).
Yunomi (湯吞み)
- A teacup, either hemispherical or cylindrical (Ross 2012:10; Costello et al. 2001:36). Yunomi literally means "hot water drinking."