Confused about 茶碗

Forgive the silly question, but I came across 茶碗 on an N5 anki vocab deck and got completely thrown for a loop by this meaning rice bowl when seeing the kanji for tea there.

Can anyone explain why that is? Like, I’m assuming it’s because the Japanese have their rice in tiny bowls that they’d use for tea as well.

At least this will make the word stick in my mind the better :laughing:

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So, what I’ve been told (and a quick internet search has backed up, but take that with a grain of salt) is that originally it was used in tea ceremonies and that the name spread to ceramics of that style, including both tea and rice ones. Eventually the smaller handle-less cups developed, but the name for that style of bowl-cup creation remained. So as far as I know you’re on the right track!


Ah, cool! Thanks!

No problem! It’s one of those weird historical linguistic traits that Japanese is full of (and I absolutely am fascinated by)

The Japanese definition mentions that it’s both for rice and tea.


There are more specific words if you absolutely need to make it clear.

飯茶碗 - めしぢゃわん - rice bowl
茶飲み茶碗 - ちゃのみぢゃわん - tea cup


It seems is confirming it:
茶碗 - Wikipedia

I am looking forward being just enough proficient in Japanese to read, because it seems like a great site to extend the mastery of the language, and such cultural details.


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