Yup, the Japanese were very picky about drinking tea (I dunno if they still are).
They needed special-shaped for Yixings, for Sencha they drank. Mostly small and egg-shaped, they needed that ball-shaped strainers on Yixings as well, Yixing potters started to make ball-shaped strainers/filters for Japanese market since 70s. And they worshipped many different kinds of bowls and kettles for Matcha-do..tea ceremony had been reserved for special occasions and people in Japan.
Many people compare that with Gongfu ceremony, for their 'fetish' for teawares and mini creatures
miig wrote:I love kyusus because they're usually nicely done and very functional, and because I like their style, which is so totally different from the Chinese pots i know. They usually have very, very fine strainers which sometimes work better than these of Chinese pots, because Japanese tea often is cut to much smaller pieces than their Chinese counterpart, and its just fun to have some different shapes around.
But i don't consider them to really be better than anything else, they're just good pots for themselves.
It could do with their steaming process of making tea. I've heard steamed greens lose in shape (sometimes broken) but wins in color or freshness.
Good Yixing teapot brews tea to a finer transparency, at this time I also think some relations to Edo-Meiji Sencha drinkers preference with Yixing