The finest mulberry bowls are from trees harvested on Mikura Island
However, a volcano erupted on neighboring Miyake Island a number of years ago,
so the trees there can no longer be harvested. Bowls from Mikura Island
are highly prized by go-equipment connoisseurs. They have a reddish hue and one
of their most appealing characteristics is that they glisten and change color,
highlighting various grain patterns, as they are tilted in the light.
Kiseido has access to a supply of the Mikura Island
bowls crafted by Tagami Sukeshiro, a famous artisan, designated as a
Japan National Treasure, who specialized in making bowls
used in tea ceremony. His "nom de plume" was Yoshiaki, the characters for which he
carved on the back of each bowl he made. He died in the 1990s, well into his 90s.
Below are examples of some of the bowls he carved. Photos of others that are available can be
provided on request.