In western homes we usually take pride in possessing a full matching set of crockery which gets used everyday - it's kind of an annoyance if something gets broken and we have to eat off mis-matched plates!
If it's expensive, the set may be carefully collected over years or requested for wedding gifts and birthday presents. Of course, the good stuff is only kept for special occasions like Christmas or dinner parties.
However, in Japanese homes, typically, they like to keep a lot of different colours and styles of dishes, bowls and plates to go with different types of meals, courses, cuisines and even ones for different family members.
The thought that goes into selecting which to use is all part of the ceremony of the meal and shows a real consideration for what is being served, who is eating it and the current season. Different pieces may have memories attached to them and remind you of where it was bought or who gave it to you.
Japan has a long history of both handcrafted and mass-produced ceramics and even today many manufactured items are made in small factories by family run businesses.
Many items are deliberately given a handmade look with uneven shapes and slight flaws. This gives them a homely, traditional feel and connects to the Japanese aesthetic of 'wabi sabi', the idea of finding beauty and value in imperfections.
So why not add a few clashing colours, unique designs, old and new items to build your own eclectic collection of homewares and reflect your own individual style.