A bowl which makes regular meal special.
"Makai" made by Yuichi Murakami

Yuichi Murakami made this "Makai" in Gifu prefecture.

Online store staff member Shichikura asked him about the thoughts behind "Makai" and recommended uses of it.

The shape of "Makai" is breathtakingly beautiful.

Although Mr. Murakami currently has a studio in Toki City, Gifu Prefecture, known as the center of Mino ware pottery production, it was in Okinawa that he began training as a ceramic artist. It was also in Okinawa that he met Makai.

"I really liked the shape of Makai which *my master made", he said.
*Shinman Yamada, who is one of the most famous ceramic artists in Okinawa.

"Makai" means bowl in dialect of Okinawa. This is an everyday Okinawan tableware used for both rice and soup. It has a slightly warped, V-shaped form that allows it to be stacked. In traditional makai, there is an unglazed area called a "snake's eye" on the prospective side of the bowl, and some of the bowls are painted on the outside.

On the other hand, Murakami's makai are "the simple". The clean and elegant appearance of his makai, without any painted decoration, is eye-catching.

Just by serving it, the dish looks beautiful and delicious.

At first glance, Murakami's makai looks too simple, but its true value is revealed once the food is served.

It makes ordinary, simple meals, such as noodles, rice, and salad, look beautiful and tasty.

"The biggest size is recommended for serving large salad and bibimpap, since the depth makes it easier to mix," he said.

"Shape" and "Color" carefully considered.

He said "I use a lot of lacquerware and glass for daily use in our home. I prefer simple things."

"Since I match ceramics with various materials, I think it naturally leads me to create dishes with simple, understated forms."

It combines the sharp beauty of porcelain with a sense of stability that brings a feeling of comfort to those who use it. The well-thought-out form is beautiful even when stacked, and its thinness and lightness make it easy to hold.

In addition to the beauty of the shape, the beauty of the color is another secret to the stunning appearance of the dishes. Currently, there are two colors of Murakami's makai: "celadon" and "rice color celadon."

“I feel that celadon porcelain has a sense of cleanliness that fits well into the daily dining table. By using only the iron content in the ash, without adding iron to the glaze, I think the finished product has a natural and comfortable color,” he said.

 The rice-colored celadon, reminiscent of the Song dynasty, is also refreshing, and both of them have a clarity that brightens up the dining table.

In order to use as many as scenes and dishes, we prepared three sizes.
The largest size can be used as a serving bowl for noodles and salads. The medium size can be used for rice dishes such as Gyudon, and the small size can be used as a serving bowl for soup.

Mr. Murakami said "the hand wheel is a romantic way to create individualized pieces, but it is difficult to mold this size with porcelain clay, which is easily cracked on the bottom. The amount of clay to be ground is too much, and the yield rate is too low.

I myself love makai bowls, and they are well known at exhibitions, so I wanted to have a large number of them, but I was in a dilemma of not being able to make them. So I talked to Mr. Taki, a power fabricator with whom I have had a personal relationship for a long time, and he gladly agreed to accept my request.

I asked him only to make the shape of the makai, but finished the rim and shaved the base in my own studio, which enabled me to finish the makai with attention to detail.

We're in Mino and we work together!

When actually finished, they are well shaped, stack well, have little distortion, and are very durable.
We were able to reaffirm that Rokuro molding is a means to an end, and that there are many different ways to achieve this goal.

I feel that I was able to give an answer to the question, "Is it good because it is handmade by one person, or is it not good if it can be made in large quantities?

I hope I have created a vessel that future generations can say, "You are doing a good job!

>>Click here to read other articles in which we interviewed Mr. Murakami.

Left: The makai dough laid out in Mr. Murakami's studio is formed by Mr. Taki. After unglazing, they are glazed and placed in the kiln again.
Right: Taki's studio is lined with many tools used for molding. Of course, there are also tools specially designed for makai.


With Mr. Murakami's Makai, you will definitely enjoy cooking and eating more every day. We hope you will enjoy them too.

Mr. Murakami has created a number of masterpieces. One more tableware made from the same celadon as makai is the "Namasu flat bowl," which you will want to use every day for sure.

In the next article, we will share more about "Namasu flat bowl."
The article will be released around Wednesday, November 30. Please look forward to it!

>>Click here to see more "Makai".

>>Click here to see more works by Yuichi Murakami.