This Iga mortar is made from clay and glaze that is sourced locally in Iga, Mie prefecture. The glaze is called, Kuroame which is one of the most traditional glazes for Iga-yaki. Made from iron, it produces a glossy black finish.
Traditionally, Japanese pestles are made of Sansho pepper tree because of its hardness & special trait of detoxifying food as you grind down the pestle. The pepper trees are sourced from the Wakayama prefecture and manufactured in the Nagano prefecture. The braided cord is also hand made in Kyoto.
The inside of the mortar is unglazed and has ridges (called Kushime) so you can grind any type of food easily. Make sure to use a non-abrasive sponge to clean after use, a metal or hard scrubber would damage the ridged pattern in the mortar. Hand wash and dry well before storing.
New mortar may contain dust. Wash before using. After usage, wash thoroughly so that there is no residue left between ridges. Pat down with dry cloth to remove any left over water and dry thoroughly before storing. Without proper drying mold or odor may occur. If this ever happens, fill water up to the ridged part of the mortar, dilute 3Tbsp of vinegar and leave it for about 10minutes. Rinse thoroughly afterwards. Do not soak in water.
Size 1 : Top Diameter 6" (15 cm), Height 2 1/2" (6 cm), Pestle Length 6 1/4" (16.5 cm)
Size 2 : Top Diameter 7" (18 cm), Height 3" (8 cm), Pestle Length 6 1/4" (21 cm)
Size 3 : Top Diameter 8 1/2" (21 cm), Height 3 3/8" (8.5 cm), Pestle Length 9 1/4" (24 cm)
Size 4 : Top Diameter 9 3/4" (25 cm), Height 3 3/4" (9.5 cm), Pestle Length 12" ( 30 cm)
Size 5 : Top Diameter 10 3/4" (27 cm), Height 4 1/8", (10.5 cm) Pestle Length 13 1/2" (34 cm)