In the Song Dynasty (AD960-AD1279), royalty as well as scholar-bureaucrats pursued a simple and peaceful life. Ceramics, during this same dynasty, demonstrated equally harmonious elegance through monochrome-glaze. Jian Zhan (Jian is the city name, while Zhan means tea-bowl) is a type of rich black iron-crystalline glaze. At times, the crystals create flecks of silver, deep blue, yellow and other colors that when looked at closely resembles a mystical hypnotic universe. Today, there are examples of Jian Zhan pieces in many of Japan’s reputable museums. They are considered national treasures and their true Zen qualities are revered by collectors all around the world – even Seto Yagi’s origins are in Jian kiln firings.