Teaware Collection Exhibit

The Sokiku Nakatani Japanese Teaware Collection presents the ceramics, scrolls, and tea utensils collected and used by Sokiku Nakatani in her studies and as a teacher of Chado (the Way of Tea).

The 147 items in this Collection were donated to California State University, Sacramento in 2006 and are housed in the University Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives. The items in the Collection, because it was the personal collection of Sokiku Nakatani, demonstrate her level of expertise, interests, and aesthetics, and they also serve to promote understanding and interest in the study of Tea and in Japanese culture and design.

Grouping 1


  1. Tenmoku glazed chawan, black on the outside with a plum design inside, considered very formal. View
  2. Black lacquer stand (tenmoku dai) for tenmoku chawans that keep the high center of gravity chawans from tipping. Very formal. View
  3. High-shouldered chaire with a plum flower motif shifuku. View
  1. Mizusashi in bentwood. View
  2. Ivory chashaku made in formal style.View
  3. Square tray (yohoubon) used to feature a thick tea caddy or incense burner during temae. View
  4. Apple-shaped chaire with blue and gold Sasazuru donsu shifuku with auspicious pine, bamboo and plum motif. View
  5. Red raku-style chawan.View

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Grouping 2


  1. Pink and grey Hagi glazed chawan appropriate for summer thin tea. View
  2. Natsume with bush clover (hagi) and pampas grass (suzuki) design that suggest the autumn season. View
  3. Black raku-style chawan for thin tea in winter. View
  4. Thin tea chawan for summer with fan design. View
  5. Natsume with koma design. View
  1. Thin tea chawan with phoenix design, appropriate for any season. View
  2. Shigaraki style chawan, appropriate for more intimate and informal settings. View
  3. Black Seto glazed chawan View
  4. Nakatsugi in mulberry wood with a plum blossom motif on striped groung cover. For thick tea. View
  5. Daikai shaped chaire (caddy for thick tea) with a shifuku cover of donsu fabric featuring motifs of plum, cherry, and tortoise shell. View

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Grouping 3


  1. Sensu used by a guest to tea. View
  2. Yoji with slipcase in gold brocade fabric and a plum, tortoise shell, and bamboo motif View
  3. Kaishi used by the guest as a small plate when taking sweets before tea. View
  4. Fukusa basami with striped fabric and ivory clasp. View
  5. Fukusa with green maple leaves on a pale green ground, suggestive of spring or summer. View
  1. Kobukusa with green brocade and flower, dragon, and phoenix motifs. View
  2. Tea box that holds a chaire and a natsume. View
  3. Black lacquer natsume in the formal (shin-nuri) style, with a purple otsubukuro (silk bag). View
  4. High-shouldered chaire with a plum blossom pattern shifuku View
  5. Chawan with lid of box stating the piece’s provenance (gift from Madame Matsumoto).

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Grouping 4


  1. Serving dish used during a formal tea gathering for the kaiseki meal. Depicts a single flower in the height of bloom. View
  2. Hashi made of dried bamboo. View
  3. Tenshin tray with cherry blossoms, petals, and a red maple leaf used for serving a light repast during less formal tea gatherings or those with many guests. View
  1. Covered lacquer bowl with fern motif. View
  2. Sweet plate with green motif depicting flower-viewing dumplings (hanami-dango). View
  3. Sweet plate with blue motif depicting flower-viewing dumplings (hanami-dango). View

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Grouping 5


  1. Thin tea chawan with white brushed design over a warm toned glaze. View
  2. Mizusashi in Shigaraki style. View
  3. Natsume decorated with clouds and brocade (unkin or kumonishiki) pattern, depicting cherry blossoms and maple leaves. View
  1. Dashibukusa with pine cone motif and emblem of stylized wisteria leaves. View
  2. Chashaku named Zuium (Auspicious Clouds) with tubular bamboo case and box lid. View
  3. Red lacquer square tray for holding a chaire for thick tea or to serve dry sweets for thin tea. View

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Grouping 6


  1. Chabako (tea utensil box) used for outside temae. View
  2. Kobukusa with white, yellow, and blue floral motif. View
  3. One panel screen (kekkai) with tsubo-tsubo motif to cohere space around which tea is made when there are not adjacent walls. View
  4. Tetsubin with raised leaf motif. View
  5. Natsume with wild orchid design. View
  6. Flower-shaped tray (hanagatabon) used in spring with red-lacquered edges and ridged surface. View
  7. Thin tea chawan with a pine arabesque (matsu karakusa) design that starts above the foot of the bowl and continues up and over the lip. View
  1. Bamboo chashaku View
  2. Chakin used to clean and dry the chawan. View
  3. Chasen to whisk thin tea. View
  4. Furidashi with a bridge, maples, and cherry blossoms View
  5. Thin tea chawan with tsunagi shippo mon pattern, appropriate at any time of the year View
  6. Kobukusa in gold and brilliant orange silk with floral motifs. View
  7. Zeze chawan, relatively formal waist-like shape, decorated with an abstract brown, black and yellow glaze. View
  8. Kobukusa in light blue with a slightly darker background. View

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Glossary of Terms

  • Chawan – teabowl
  • Chaire – Tea caddy for thick tea
  • Chakin – small white linen cloth used to clean and dry chawan. Also used to purify objects.
  • Chasen – tea whisk
  • Chashaku – tea scoop
  • Dashibukusa – like a kobukusa but larger.
  • Fukusa – cloths for purifying tea utensils
  • Fukusa basami – guest accessory case
  • Furidashi – small contains to hold dry sweets
  • Hashi –chopsticks
  • Kobukusa – small, square, silk cloths placed between tea utensils and the hand or floor.
  • Mizusashi – Fresh-water container
  • Natsume – Tea caddy for thin tea
  • Sensu - fan
  • Shifuku – silk cover
  • Temae – Tea procedure
  • Tetsubin – small iron kettle
  • Yoji – a pick for eating moist sweets
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