Tosen Kiln Wind God and Thunder God Kiyomizu Ware Sake Cup Pair

JPY ¥50,000

Featuring the distinctive “nami-yu” glaze, which is made from the ashes of the Kyoto forest, this pair of sake cups has a natural base color in yellowish cream-white. 

Founded in 1868 as a Kiyomizu ware wholesaler in Kyoto, Tosen Kiln uses its own blend of soil and glaze, preserving the methods and quality of the works of Nonomura Ninsei, the renowned potter who is said to have established the art of Kyo ware in the 17th century.

The paintwork is done by individual Japanese-style painters, pursuing their own originality and depth beyond the expectations of a mere decoration. This particular piece presents the deities of "Fujin Raijin" (Wind God and Thunder God). Not only are they deities of the supernatural but are also believed to be the attendants of the wise Buddha. The Wind God is riding his cloud carrying a cloth which lets him control the wind at his own guise, and the Thunder God holds a ring of drums. 

The Thunder God greets you with his rolling eyes and villain smile. One can only imagine the difficulty of hand painting such detailed painting on a curved surface of a cup. The other cup depicts a painting of the dashing Wind God on his blue cloud, perhaps going round in circles around the bowl. The cup is carefully sprinkled with strokes of gold, glittering on top of the warm cream white body. 

The technique of painting directly on a bisqued plate requires unique skill as paint is quickly absorbed by the clay surface. The art of underglaze painting uses more restraint colors of blue and brown, giving the piece a more subdued impression. As the paint is absorbed under the glaze, the result is the more lucid and transparent finish of the delicate brush work, as opposed to the more solid pigments of overglaze painting. The finishing touch to the sake cup is a lining of gold. Due to its delicate characteristics, gold can only be applied as an overglaze to truly display its beautiful color. 

This item comes with a wooden box made of paulownia tree, making it an ideal gift.  The lid depicts a hand painted Wind God and Thunder God, which has its own heart-warming appeal as the dye profuse into the wooden surface. 

Tosen Kiln introduces the timeless techniques of Kiyomizu ware through their delicate hand painting and modeling styles. The intricate paintings on the stoneware breathe warmth and beauty into the pieces and tell stories of the diligence needed to create them.


  • Quantity: 2 cups
  • Dimension: D6.5cm(2.6in) x H5.7cm(2.2in)
  • Capacity: 60ml(2.0oz)
  • Box Size: 16.8cm(6.6in) x 8.2cm(3.2in) x H8.8cm(3.5in)
  • Material: Stoneware
  • Origin: Made in Japan - Kiyomizu Ware
  • Brand: Tosen Kiln


Tosen Kiln introduces the traditional techniques of Kiyomizu ware through their delicate hand painting and modeling styles.

The intricate paintings breathe warmth and beauty into their pieces and tell stories of the diligence needed to create them.

View more Tosen Kiln's Items

ABOUT Kyo Ware and Kiyomizu Ware

"Emblematic Pottery Flourishes in the Old Capital of Japan"

Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware is one of Kyoto's representative crafts. Its a traditional craft designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, named Kyo-yaki or Kiyomizu-yaki in Japanese.

There is no specific style, and all pottery techniques from various regions of Japan are used. Another characteristic of Kyo ware is that all processes, such as pottery wheel turning and painting, are done by hand. With a history that has developed along with traditional culture, Kyo ware is characterized by delicate painting and excellent modeling skills, resulting in ceramics of great elegance and highly pictorial qualities. Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware were designated as traditional crafts by the Japanese government in 1977 and are very popular for its artistic quality.

View more Kyo Ware and Kiyomizu Ware