TaiPing Hou Kui
I'm also a bit confused with this. Unfortunately, it will be a while before I can actually speak to some people I know to find out more (although there's one person I'm hoping to see this weekend).
Everything seems straightforward enough in English, but in Japanese there are many more ambiguities. Perhaps there are in Chinese too as the same characters are used for powder and tea.
Here's a link I posted in another thread to Takashimaya's New York store website. Although I would not look to Takashimaya as world tea experts, I do believe that they, and their customers, know a thing or two about high grade Japanese tea:
http://www.takashimaya-ny.com/product_d ... 24&cat=254
They call the product Kona Sencha - powder sencha
And it retails for $40 for 0.88 of an ounce.
Mitsukoshi aren't the only store who sell kona sencha, but theirs is the only one who's product I've stumbled upon in English (My Japanese is pretty limited)
I'm not so sure it is such a far, far cry from some of the matcha that's freely available. I do
agree that it is highly unlikely that the powder I could get from grinding any of the sencha I
own would approximate the taste of matcha or be suitable as a substitute.
The implement you posted looks remarkably similar to this one for producing konacha
http://www.miyazaki-archive.jp/d-museum ... il/?id=209
It's called a chusu (or chuusu) and is from the Edo period.