Tuesday, September 18, 2012


As days begin to grow shorter in late September, one of my favourite native flowering perennials, the Asters, begin to  put on a show.  

Many people consider them weeds, but I love the soft mauve hue that lingers in the  cool wake of the morning air . While I slave away with most flowers throughout the summer, these lovely little Fall harbingers, are so easy to grow and will come back year after year.

 They are infact,  pollinators that attract several species of insects and butterflies.  I also, enjoy their attractive seed heads, that add a bit of interest to the cold winter landscape. Often, the most unassuming plants and objects are the most beautiful .

However, just the thought of Winter, gives me the chills .... Please, do come in and let me pour you a nice  cup of tea. 

 Today I'm pondering an English Breakfast or maybe even Red Rose Tea. Which do you prefer? On second thought, How about green tea !!!! I have a few perfectly sealed packages that I brought from Japan. It's fresh and so mildly delicious.

Look what I found tucked away in my lower cabinet. At first, I thought it was a limoge, with its elegant streamlined design. To my surprise the markings said,  Fine Bone China,
" Made In Japan ".

I couldn't believe how ethereal and perfect  the teaset appeared to be ... since  many people have an immediate aversion to the " Made in Japan" label, which I believe is a remnant of the war and a poorer mass production line. 

Luckily, I did find an interesting amount of history on  the Nikko China Company. So, please drink up your tea and enjoy, the intimate feeling and look of this exotic china. 

In the late 1800's Freudal Lords found their land being gradually dispersed, to the farm families that had cultivated it for generations. The changes were undoubtedly difficult, but necessary in the evolution of Japan.  Many of the former Lords, seeing their formal feudal estates shrinking to a fraction of their former size, banded together in business partnerships.

One such venture involved,  the Freudal Lord, Maeda and associates. Together, they formed Koshitsu Toki Co. Ltd. in the prefecture of Kanazawa, in 1905.  It was the first attempt to manufacture semi-porcelain dinnerware in Japan.  

In 1917, the opening of a new factory in Pusan, Korea created great hope for the future of the Koshitsu Toki Company. Unfortunately the onset of World War ll, required a shifting of the company, to meet governmental needs for armaments. Everything from porcelain to metal was produced for the Japanese army.

The war had an devastating effect on Japan's economy. The  Koshitsu Toki  suffered damage to its mainland factory and lost its facility altogether, when Japan was forced to leave Korea.

Faced with these challenges, the company created a re-organization plan and ultimately didn't  hit its stride again,  until  the mid-sixties.

Moving the  headquarters and factories to Ishikawa, Japan, they began  producing a large range of tableware, including bone china, fine vitrified china, fine porcelain and ovenware.

The original name was dropped and in 1983, it became the  Nikko Company, which is a more recognizable name worldwide.

Although, this teaset maintains a old-world charm, it was  most certainly  produced, during  the mid 80's to 90's... especially since it bears the  Nikko Company stamp.

You can see that the china is truly a fine work of art, boasting a most exotic spirit. The midnight blue saucer has been ingeniously balanced with a plain white cup, that ripples like a ribbon of liquid gold around the upper edges ... The elaborate, yet, also simple elements of the teaset caused me to pause, in favour of admiring it's ethereal existence. I think, it is beautiful !!!!

I rallied as to whether or not, I should pour hot tea into such a delicate vessel.  It's a teacup illuminated with ornate thought and harmony, almost Art Deco inspired ...  I did however, journey onward, selecting only the finest green tea to fill it with the essence of its oriental heritage.... Delicious !!!!

I must admit that learning the patience and art of drinking tea is a must for this bevelled creation. One must first form and purse their lips to fit into the delicate folds of the teacups rim.( dribble dribble) 

 Only with tiny sips could one infuse, the pure essence of the teas' bouquet and perfection of the delicate china between the lips.... A tantalizing and intimate  experience of East meets West .

I do believe that we, have a misconception about bone china ... "Made in England", does not positively dictate that it is the  best or finest of China and visa versa .... the, " Made in Japan', does not mean that it is the cheapest and of inadequate quality. It's only a stamp and a very clever  worldwide marketing tool that assists us, in recognizing and dating our pieces.

Thankfully, I was able to experience Japanese teasets and china, while living in Kitakyushu . Most notably, Japanese porcelain and ceramics have  enlightenment  and broadened my education in the ancient art of pottery making.


Thank You for the pleasure of your company Ladies...

Today I also sharing tea with:
Sandi at Teatime Tuesday/ Rose Chintz Cottage/ wwwsandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.ca
Terri at Teacup Tuesday/ www.artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com
Ruth at Tuesday Cuppa Tea/ www.antiques and teacups.blogspot.ca


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello Zaa,
Your little fluted teacup is a pretty thing! I love the bright blue saucer paired with its white cup. Lots of history too.
My hubby likes his Red Rose but I prefer the green tea myself.
Thanks so much for sharing and joining me for tea. Have a wonderful week.


Terri said...

Hi Zaa,
I hope you are having a good week : )
Your tea cup today is stunning! I personally don't care where a cup is manufactured. I do care about the design and the feel in my hand. Your cup here is totally gorgeous. The pattern, the shape and the workmanship is perfect.
Oh, and I will have some English Breakfast please.... thank you!

Zaa said...

Thanks Sandi ... Green tea for you , green tea for me and Red Rose for you hubby... Sounds like a party.( ha ha)

Zaa said...

I agree Terri... The personal feeling of the cup in your hand is important, while enjoying tea... Your English Breakfast tea is ready, Dear lady... Hugs

Stephanie said...

Hi there! Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment. I love your blue saucer - it's stunning!
I hope you have a great day!


Antiques And Teacups said...

I think your teacup is gorgeous!I love the pattern and coloring. I am enjoying our fall...which by our standards is summer, but cool to much of the country. Your asters are lovely! I drink black tea mostly, but we try to have a cup of green tea every day as well. Thaks for your lovely post and for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

GinaBVictorian said...

Hi Zaa! Pretty teacups, enjoyed the history. Green tea, yum! I like your little figurine. The little bee is such a welcome sight isn't it? Gina

Anita Pillai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Andrade said...

Hi Zaa,
How lovely is your fluted tea cup and saucer Made in Japan!
That contrast of the dark blue ground of the saucer and the light colours of the cup makes a perfect combination... and very unusual!
I loved it!
Thanks for sharing.

Johanna said...

Hi Zaa,
I never had any aversion against any porcelain piece. We have here in Germany some China from Japan, mostly tea sets from Nippon Tokussei. And when I remember the first pieces of the elegant Noritake China I saw in Great Britain, I believe that Japan can make elegant and worthy china, too. Your tea cup is a nice example for that. I love the design with the ripples and the magnificent blue and gold. Thank you for sharing this treasures. Tea from the tea cup must be a delight.
Best greetings, Johanna

Zaa said...

It was my pleasure Stephanie ...Please do visit again... Hugs

Zaa said...

Thanks for the kind visit Ruth ..

I love linking with you "Cuppa Tea "blog ..It's so refreshing ... Hugs

Zaa said...

Thanks Gina ... Yes I though the little bee was cute too... Glad you enjoyed our chat....hugs

Zaa said...

Dear Maria...

I'm so happy to have found some history for you to read... as I enjoy your historical teatimes very much , my friend...xoxoxox

Zaa said...

Welcome Dear johanna... Your visits are always a delight... Yes ... Noritake does have some beautiful pieces....but I do love German china, such as in your posting this Teatime Tuesday... Hugs

Lady Linda said...

Oh how lovely! I have such an admiration now for quality Japanese teacups. SO beautiful.
I have to tell you, I am in total awe with your previous posting. A pastel crazy quilt is tucked in my mind. I have been gathering things for years. I am going to go back and study your post and check out the blogs you gave. I am sooooo inspired. It will be fun to follow your progress.
A dream to me....

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi: I love your tea cup! It is just beautiful. You have such a amazing blog. I can always get lost here. Have a great week. Blessings, Martha

Two Cottages And Tea said...

Your asters are so pretty. We have asters here that grow wild and I love to pick some a fill a few vases for the house. Your teacup is really beautiful and I enjoyed the history of it so much. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend.

Zaa said...

Dearest Lady Linda...

I'd love to have you as one of the " crazy quilting ladies." we have such fun... Let's discuss this over tea...hugs

Zaa said...

dear martha.. you're always first on my tea list readings... I cherish your company...XOXOXOX

Zaa said...

Hey Nancy ...
I agree ..these lover little aster fill a vase so beautifully..Thank you for this lovely teatime chat...hugs