Offered for sale, a Kuro or black Karatsu Chawan made by the potter Nakazato XIII. Nakazato Muan (Nakazato Taroemon XII, 1895-1985), was named a Living National Treasure in 1976 for his Karatsu work.

There are eight basic kinds of Karatsu:
1. Oku-korai (simple, unembellished Karatsu)
2. Madara (speckled; blue spots of straw ash glaze)
3. E-Garatsu (iron or copper glaze and coated with translucent glaze)
4. Hori (carved)
5. Chosen (Korean-style; coated with straw ash glaze called warabaiyu)
6. Ao Karatsu (green)
7. Ki Karatsu (yellow)
8. Kuro Karatsu (black)

Karatsu (Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures, Kyushu). A high-fired ceramic, well known for its underglaze iron paintings; originated sometime in 15th-16th century with Korean potters. The only family dating back to those days still making Karatsu today is the famous Nakazato family. 

They have an unbroken lineage of fourteen generations.

The Nakazato Taroemon Lineage:
I. Matashichi d.1663
II. Taroemon d.1670
III. Jin'emon d.1703
IV. Taroemon d.1744
V. Kiheiji d.1757
VI. Taroemon d.1786
VII. Toji d.1811
VIII. Taroemon d.1817
IX. Shohei d.1825
X. Totaro d.1892
XI. Tenyu d.1924
XII. Taroemon (Muan) d.1985
XIII. Taroemon (Houan)
XIV. Taroemon

Karatsu is one of Japan's most desirable pottery styles. Karatsu, which means "China Port," is located in modern day Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Karatsu can trace its roots back to the 15th century, but it is generally accepted that it matured in the latter half of the 16th century. This is in part due to the Korean potters brought back by Lord Hideyoshi in what is referred to as the "pottery wars." Tea was highly favored among the Daimyo and Aristocracy of the time, with Karatsu chawan being the most desired style. The next two most desirable styles were Raku and Hagi.

This Chawan was very hard to photograph, it is black on black.  What I mean is that it appears to have been glazed black then an additional coat of thicker black glaze applied and allowed to drizzle down the sides.  Sadly, this effect was impossible for me to capture on film.  The chawan is just gorgeous in hand and my photos due it an injustice.  Due to a decision to downsize a little, I have decided to part with it and hope someone else will cherish it as much as I have.

Don't miss this opportunity to own a Chawan with a direct lineage back fourteen generations or to the 1660's.

4.5" (11.43cm) X 3.25" (8.25cm)