What is JianZhan Tenmoku

Jianzhan is a ancient Chinese tea cup, it used the unique clay from Shuiji Town of Fujian Province to make iron tires. The local mineral glaze rock is added into the ash water to make glaze water. It is burned into the kiln and burned at a high temperature of about 1300 degrees to form a stable state.

Tenmoku is the Japanese word for a type of tea bowl first produced in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It also refers to a mountain between China's Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces (Mt. Tienmu in Chinese, Mt. Tenmoku in Japanese).

The original name for these wares in Chinese was jianzhan. The first mention of tenmoku in a Japanese document occurs in 1335 in a record by Onkei Soyu, a monk who studied at Mt. Tienmu. In the 13th century, Tenmoku wares made at kilns in Fujian Province were brought back to Japan by Japanese Buddhist monks. The Ashikaga shoguns (Japanese family that occupied the office of shogun from 1338 to 1568) held tenmoku and seiji (celadon) in the greatest esteem and this reverence reached its peak during the reign of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1369-1395), the eighth shogun.

From that time in history, only four "yohen" tenmoku tea bowls have survived. Yohen refers to a natural ash glaze; the term literally means "changed by the fire/flame." All four are in Japan and three are designated as national treasures. These three are, respectively, in the Seikadou Bunko Art Museum, the Fujita Art Museum, and the Ryuukouin Subtemple of Daitokuji Temple.