Bamboo is a highly versatile, renewable, and natural material that has long been appreciated in Asia. In fact, it is the perfect material with which to make the implements associated with Japanese tea: the tea whisk (chasen), the tea scoop (chashaku), and the water ladle (hishaku).
The Tanimura family of Nara, Japan has been making tea whisks for 20 generations over 500 years so it is natural that they would eventually apply their skills and understanding of bamboo to the production of water ladles.
Each hishaku is painstakingly made by Tanimura Tango, who assumed the professional name of “Tango” following his father’s retirement. This very old and prestigious name was first bestowed on the Tanimuras by the Tokugawa Shogunate and has been passed on to each successive generation.
The ladles are stunning in their simplicity of form, ease of use, and meticulous craftsmanship. Tanimura-san makes each from two different parts of the bamboo; the natural cup formed by the plant’s reticulations, and a piece of the bamboo’s hard exterior that he shapes into a handle. The artist is justifiably proud of the fact that, unlike ladles made outside of Japan, a Tanimura ladle will not leak and moreover, that the handle is skillfully joined to the cup without the use of glue.
Studio KotoKoto is thrilled to bring you these stunning implements from Tanimura Tango’s home studio in Nara, Japan. They are made with the accumulated knowledge of the remarkable Tanimura lineage and with Tanimura-san’s continued adherence to his predecessors’ exacting standards.