| Japanese Tableware
Tableware is just as important to Japanese cuisine as the food itself. Choosing the perfect serving vessel for a certain dish is an art form, and in Japan (as anywhere), the better the restaurant, the more exquisite the tableware. There is a time-honored tradition of Japanese food arrangement that goes back at least as far as the 16th century.
At home, modern chefs rarely follow such rules, nor could they afford to, as antique and modern artist signed work is extremely expensive. However, setting a Japanese table is one of the joys for any home cook. You might even say that it is our reward. Whatever the season, there is an appropriate mood that is conveyed, as described in the article on seasonality. The color, shape, and even tactile feel of a vessel also enhance whatever food is served, making it seem even more delicious. For more on this, see the article The Power of Five.
We have a growing collection of tableware at our house, but even for everyday use, we regularly use antique dishes and nice lacquerware. The photo below shows a typical dinner setting.