A soft, lead-glazed, low-fired usually red or black type of pottery used most often in chado or "Tea Ceremony".
The Raku Ware is said to have been started in Kyoto during the second half of the 16th century by a tilemaker named Chojiro. Raku (meaning "pleasure") Ware is characterized by a rough, hand made appearance with subtle, often transparent, lead glazes and exposed patches. Even today, the raku family of potters are making bowls for the chado.
Today Raku refers to both the process of raku firing and to ware glazed in such a firing. Traditional raku ware was lead-glazed, placed in a red-hot kiln, and quickly withdrawn when the glaze melted. It is then buried in straw, sawdust, paper, or other combustible material and then covered with an airtight lid to create a reducing atmosphere that aids in producing lusterious or opalescent colors.