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Your one-stop shop of Japanese and Korean cookware and tableware
Your one-stop shop of Japanese and Korean cookware and tableware
A Guide to Japanese Tableware

A Guide to Japanese Tableware

Customers have increasingly been expressing curiosity about the diverse range of Japanese tableware. The aim of this guide is not just to inform you of what is available, but to provide crucial information that will aid you in selecting the tableware that best suits your needs.

This guide offers insights into:

It is important to note that not all Japanese tableware comes with packaging. We have outlined three distinct packaging options in the product descriptions for your convenience:

  • Tableware with a gift box
  • Tableware with a packing box
  • Tableware with a box - usually an original box but not as nice as a gift box
  • Tablware without a box
My Cookware Tableware Size Guide

Understanding the Names

These are the various names available:

Product Type Description Size
Dinner plate The most common main plate 19-28cm in diameter
Pasta Plate Similar in size to a dinner plate but with greater depth 19-28cm
Divided plate Usually rectangular and with three sections for different
food combinations
About 23cm wide
Side plate Used for desserts or small meals 12-18cm in diameter
Serving plate Either a large plate or a plate that is not round, e.g.
a rectangular sushi plate or a square plate
More than 28cm (if round)
Bowl Used for rice or miso soup 11-18cm in diameter
Ramen Bowl Large in size About 24cm in diameter


Understanding the Significance of Regional Kilns

Essentially all of our products bear names like Mino Yaki and Hasami Yaki. Here, 'Yaki' signifies a kiln, while the term preceding 'Yaki' typically denotes a region renowned for crafting high-quality Japanese tableware.

Mino Yaki is also known as Mino Ware. In keeping with this nomenclature, we have adjusted the names of all other similar items, to be known as Hasami Ware, Seto Ware, and so on.

My Cookware Pottery

The description for each product contains information about the city of origin, allowing customers to learn about its history. This can provide valuable insights into the quality and style of the tableware. For those interested in deeper knowledge, I have written another article about the unique cultures and specialties associated with these kilns, which I highly recommend reading.

Understanding the Differences Between Earthenware, Porcelain, and Japanese Lacquered Wood

Earthenware, porcelain, and Japanese lacquered wood are commonly used materials in Japanese households for crafting tableware. These materials are each unique in their composition, texture, and durability.


Also known as 'tsuchimono', earthenware is made from natural soil or clay and fired at 1,000 to 1,150 degrees. The result is a warm, rustic, and slightly porous material. To prevent its absorbency and prevent odour or mould, it is glazed and refired to make it waterproof.


Referred to as 'Ishimono' in Japan, porcelain is refined clay fired at 1,200 to 1,450 degrees Celsius. It is a hard, shiny, often white and translucent material with a smooth and durable finish. Notably, porcelain is naturally waterproof and resists dirt and odours without glazing.

Japanese Lacquered Wood

Japanese lacquered wood or Urushi, involves coating wood with natural lacquer for a glossy finish and protection. It is resistant to water, acids, and alkalis. Modern versions replace traditional lacquer with food-safe urethane for a traditional yet unique aesthetic.

The following table provides a comparison of earthenware, porcelain, and Japanese lacquered wood:

Features Earthenware Porcelain Japanese Lacquered Wood
Material Clay (fired at 1,000 to 1,150°C) Refined clay (fired at 1,200–1,450°C) Wood coated with lacquer
Texture Rough Smooth Smooth and glossy
Strength Brittle Strong Moderate
Water Absorption High (unless glazed) Low Low
Maintenance High level of care required Minimal care needed Moderate level of care required
Microwave Safe Yes Yes No
Oven Safe No No No
Suitable for Direct Fire No No No
Dishwasher Safe No Yes No


Kai, our product specialist at My Cookware®, is the author of this article.

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