Loading Spinner

Japanese Bowls

Japanese bowls were used for three main purposes: eating, tea-drinking, and ceremony. For eating and drinking, Japanese bowls are referred to as “chawan." Singing bowls used during ceremony to assist with chanting and meditation are called “suzu” and are actually bells or gongs.

Japanese food chawan are used mainly for consuming noodles, rice, or soup. They can make exceptional decorative pieces or can be used for dining. These bowls are made out of plastic, ceramic, or lacquered wood. Japanese techniques for bowl making have been picked up historically from Chinese bowl making, so similarities between cloisonne, porcelain, and other decorative techniques can be seen between the two cultures.

Because gold was abundant in Japan during the mid-17th century, Japanese bowls often were adorned with gold decorations. Imari porcelains were particularly popular as exports to the Western world during this time. Imari porcelain bowls are characterized by their use of cobalt blue, red, and gold. This color combination is unique to Japan and is therefore highly sought after even now.


Quick Facts

  • In forming bowls, whether for food or drink, Japanese potters were able to make very symmetrical and precise decorations. However, especially for ceremonial purposes, imperfections were elevated as unique identifying features
  • Rather than delicate porcelain cups, the Japanese preferred dark, thick-walled bowls for drinking tea. The thicker walls were preferred for the ability to retain heat
  • Donburi are deep, oversized Japanese rice bowls used to serve foods like fish, meat, or vegetables that are all cooked together and then served over steamed rice. Donburi meals are, to this day, considered Japanese comfort food

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
Large Group Vintage Japanese Porcelain Pieces
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Large Group Vintage Japanese Porcelain Pieces
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$252 Bids
Japanese Boxed Ceramic Dish
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Boxed Ceramic Dish
by Caza Sikes
Est: $50- $75
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Plates
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Plates
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Old Japanese Porcelain Large Tea Bowls
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Old Japanese Porcelain Large Tea Bowls
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Trays
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Trays
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Vases
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Vases
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Vases & Bowls
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Vases & Bowls
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $80
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Large Group Japanese Porcelain Wares
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Large Group Japanese Porcelain Wares
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $80
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Jars
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Bowls & Jars
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Massive Japanese Porcelain Bowl
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Massive Japanese Porcelain Bowl
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$201 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Art Porcelain Sets
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Art Porcelain Sets
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$201 Bid
4 Japanese 19th C Bronze Quatrefoil Bowls
Dec 11, 10:15 AM EST
4 Japanese 19th C Bronze Quatrefoil Bowls
by Eddie's Auction
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Japanese Sterling Chrysanthemum Center Bowl
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
Japanese Sterling Chrysanthemum Center Bowl
by Alex Cooper
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$2,0001 Bid
bp parity badge
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Sets
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Vintage Japanese Porcelain Sets
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $100- $150
$301 Bid
Dragon Sculpture, Dragon Wind Chime, Japanese Bowl
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
Dragon Sculpture, Dragon Wind Chime, Japanese Bowl
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
12 Japanese Studio Ceramic Bowls
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
12 Japanese Studio Ceramic Bowls
by Caza Sikes
Est: $150- $250
$701 Bid
12 Japanese Studio Ceramic Bowls
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
12 Japanese Studio Ceramic Bowls
by Caza Sikes
Est: $150- $250
$701 Bid
bp parity badge
Japanese Bonsai Tray & Tea Bowl
Dec 16, 11:00 AM PST
Japanese Bonsai Tray & Tea Bowl
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $50- $60
$201 Bid
Makoto Yabe Art Pottery Glazed Ceramic Rice Bowl
Dec 04, 10:00 AM PST
Makoto Yabe Art Pottery Glazed Ceramic Rice Bowl
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
Makoto Yabe Art Pottery Glazed Ceramic Rice Bowl
Dec 04, 10:00 AM PST
Makoto Yabe Art Pottery Glazed Ceramic Rice Bowl
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
Makoto Yabe Art Pottery Glazed Ceramic Rice Bowl
Dec 04, 10:00 AM PST
Makoto Yabe Art Pottery Glazed Ceramic Rice Bowl
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
SEVEN RED GOLD-LACQUERED FLORAL DISHES
Dec 07, 9:30 AM CET
SEVEN RED GOLD-LACQUERED FLORAL DISHES
by Nagel Auction
Est: €500- €800
€5000 Bids
Lot of 4 Japanese Ceramic Bowls.
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
Lot of 4 Japanese Ceramic Bowls.
by Palmyra Heritage Gallery
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Bowls


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Wealthier Art & Auction

Wealthier Art & Auction

Schuler Auktionen

Schuler Auktionen

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn