This small teapot has a grayish-green glaze on red clay, which is still visible in the unglazed interior. The teapot is decorated with calligraphy, reading Hamamatsu (the name of a city in Shizuoka Prefecture), in kanji characters on one side and in hiragana on the other side (both read from right to left). The base has an unglazed rim of about one inch. The bamboo handle is held somewhat messily to the pot with thin wires. (a) features the teapot and (b) the lid, which is concave toward the middle and has a central knob.
The Japanese word for tea is o-cha. The course tea leaves known as bancha are usually toasted before steeping in a large teapot, and are for daily home use. Tea is served in cups without handles and without milk, sugar, or lemon. A very small teapot is used for expensive tea. At festival times, tea is flavored with salted plums and dried seaweed. There are articles used for ceremonial tea that are never used for any other purpose.