Table Setting #91
A Meal for One, Zen Style 

Cleanse your body and soul with a healthy and humble meal served in a Oryoki bowl set. 
The minimalistic design is simple yet functional and carries the deep history of Zen Buddhist monks using them as personal tableware for life. 
Try this basic setting for one with these Oryoki bowls filled with tradition and history. 


  • What is an Oryoki?  
  • What to Serve
  • Simplistic Beauty
  • Featured Item

Key points of this table setting

1. What is an Oryoki? 

"Oryoki" is a stackable set of bowls designed to minimize waste in daily life following the practice of Zen Buddhism. Originally, the Oryoki was made for Buddhist Soto-sect monks to use for meals. The literal translation of Oryoki is "a bowl to serve the appropriate amount." Meals would be served in just the right amount in these bowls. 

Recently, Oryoki bowl sets have attracted much attention for its compact storage, minimalistic simple design and beautiful lacquer coating. All the bowls fit inside the largest bowl perfectly. If you take a close look, each bowl actually has a slightly different shape. Some of the smaller bowls are closer to plates rather than bowls.
Each bowl plays its part in plating a different kind of dish to complete a full setting for a meal for one. 

2. What to Serve 

Keeping in line with its origin, healthy vegetarian dishes work well with Oryoki bowls. We plated a typical "ichiju-sansai" style meal for this setting, with a azuki bean mixed rice, clear broth soup, stewed vegetables, vegetables mixed in a tofu paste and Japanese style pickled vegetables; a well-balanced, nutritious menu that your body will appreciate.
The shine of the red lacquer adds to the natural colors of vegetables and of the cooked rice. You can feel a sense of harmony just by setting these Oyroki bowls on the table . 

3. Simplistic Beauty 

There is no need to add much to enjoy a setting with these beautiful Oryoki bowls. 
We organized the bowls on a Reversible Half Moon Yamanaka Lacquerware Tray and used the Issou Spring Flowers Nishijin Ori Brocade Chopsticks Case for the chopsticks.
A simple branch in a Tobe vase is just enough to give dimension to the table top. The white bunnies on the Jumping Rabbit Kutani Japanese Teapot with the Bouncing Rabbit Kutani Yunomi Japanese Teacup match the clean white table cloth and adds the finishing touch to the table. 

Explore a new dimension of Japanese tableware with this Oryoki bowl set.
Enjoy its simple and refined design along with its versatile functionality. Relax with a pleasurable meal in Oryoki bowls and reset your body and mind for the beginning of a new week or month. 

Featured item

Ancient Red Lacquer Yamanaka Lacquerware Oryoki Bowl Set  

Yamanaka lacquerware is produced in the Yamanaka Onsen area of Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and has a history of about 400 years. The traditional techniques of Yamanaka lacquerware are highly regarded and are known throughout Japan. It is characterized by the use of wood grain patterns to express a natural texture, and is made with great attention to detail. It was designated as a traditional craft by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in 1975.

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