BEAUTIFUL BOWLS. The Miya Company, a third-generation family
business based in New York City, imports a wide range of
Japanese tableware and gifts to the U.S. Pictured are bowls (top
photo) and a plate (bottom photo) from the Miya Company. The
indigo blue raindrops create a pleasing geometric pattern on the
bowls, which can be used for rice, cereal, or soup. The plate
features a Japanese thatch pattern, melding traditional and
contemporary design. (Miya via AP)
From The Asian Reporter, V28, #3 (February 5, 2018),
Asian tableware: From zen to zany
By Kim Cook
The Associated Press
Japan, China, and Korea have a long history of creating
beautiful table goods, from rustic stoneware to delicate
ceramics, sleek lacquered items to whimsical serveware and
utensils. The tableware is appearing more and more in decor
stores on this side of the world as part of several trends:
minimalism, globalism, eclecticism.
The Miya Company, based in New York City, imports a wide
range of Japanese tableware and gifts. "Weíre a third-generation
family business that was started in the 1930s by my husbandís
great uncle, Chosuke Miyahira," says spokesperson Heidi Moon.
Miya was initially a flower shop, and then began offering
tableware. Moon says its motto today is "friends donít let
friends use boring dishes," and that whatever they sell has to
be "beautiful, simple, and fun."
In the utensils department, there are fanciful tongs shaped
like cat paws and a man-shaped chopsticks holder with hollow
legs so the sticks make him look like a stilt walker. In the
ceramics section, there are plates and cups resembling
traditional kokeshi dolls. Blue and white ceramic bowls,
ideal for cereal, rice, or soup, are stamped with a simple
raindrop pattern, and come in sets with wooden chopsticks. There
are cleverly designed mugs, too. A calico cat-shaped cup has its
own little kitten spoon.
From Jewel Japan, distributed by Miya, a microwave-safe
series of mugs printed with modern graphics of cats, whales, or
origami cranes come with handy matching lids to keep beverages
Cats are well represented in Asian tableware as symbols of
good luck. Along with all the feline mugs, there are playful
pussycats gamboling over glass and porcelain plates, and a
clever cat-shaped matte black teapot, with the catís head
becoming a cup.
A striking black-and-white plate collection by Komon draws
inspiration from traditional Japanese patterns such as hemp
leaves, snowflakes, arrow feathers, and thatching.
Run by the Lin family since 1997, Mrs. Linís Kitchen in
Pleasanton, California, sells table and kitchen goods as well as
home accessories. A collection of serveware is designed in the
style of 16th-century Japanese Oribe ceramics, known for their
bold designs and copper green glaze. A pattern called Sunlit
Forest evokes sunlight streaming through a woodland canopy at
There are jaunty lidded Chawa Muchi cups, traditionally used
for egg custard. Painted with star flowers or clover, theyíd
make a pretty presentation for a sweet dessert.
Childrenís chopstick sets include holders shaped like pandas,
cats, and bunnies.
Beautiful Wakasa chopsticks are made of hand-lacquered wood
thatís then inlaid with shell or pearl in a design meant to
evoke the clear, rippling waters of Japanís Wakasa Bay.
Forget those boring buffet platters; consider a detailed,
miniature lacquerware boat or bridge on which to perch the
savories or sweets. Red and gold trim accents these glossy black
pieces that would bring a touch of drama to the table.
CB2 has a matte-black, rustic, clay stoneware dish set
comprised of a cup and saucer, bowl, and two round plates with
raised edges in the traditional Japanese style.
And School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Louis
Kishfy designed a serene little tea mug that marries a gritty,
tactile stoneware base with a silken glazed cloak in white,
cobalt, or sky blue.