Yunomi (tea beaker) and choko (sake cup) are everyday Japanese ceramic drinking vessels designed specifically for the consumption of green tea and sake. Yunomi are tea vessels usually made from ceramic material, being taller than they are wide, with a trimmed or turned foot different from the formal chawan, or tea bowl which is used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Like the yunomi, the choko, or sometimes ochoko, is a ceramic vessel used for the informal drinking of sake.


This selection, which includes one small black raku chawan, is part of a larger ceramic collection belonging to Whanganui-based potter Rick Rudd and was collected during ceramics-focused visits to Japan in 1995 and 1997. The collection comprises several pieces acquired from galleries; however the majority of works come direct from potters' studios as either purchases or gifts. There is one exception, the 1957 Shoji Hamada yunomi that was purchased in Auckland in 2001, from an Albany Village Pottery Collectors Exhibition.


Rudd chose to collect drinking vessels during his tours of Japan for practical and artistic reasons. They are small and easily transportable, yet within the simplicity of form these works are representative of each individual potter's style. The collection functions on one level as a souvenir of his visits to Japan. On another level it provides a direct connection for a leading New Zealand maker to known individual, and leading, Japanese potters representative of the Oriental ceramics tradition that developed into the Anglo-Oriental movement and which was the source of inspiration for much twentieth century international studio ceramics practice.


Although both types of vessels are for informal use, several are kept in their individual wooden presentation boxes some of which are adorned with calligraphy and interlaced stripped ribbon. The presentation boxes elevate the items from the everyday to the exceptional. In keeping with the informal intention of the vessels, Rudd offers the yunomi to visitors who wish to drink green tea at his home, giving his collection an everyday life. On the rare occasion that Rudd drinks green tea, his yunomi of choice is one made by potter Takeo Sudo.


Objectspace acknowledges the generosity of collector Rick Rudd.