Friday, November 29, 2013

Rikyu was not an easy person!?


I feel that Rikyu is now something of a fad. I found a magazine featuring Rikyu at a bookstore the other day but actually there were three of them. Of course, I bought all three, hahaha. We don’t know the true personality of Rikyu, but it’s interesting to read different opinions. I think that the occasion of the boom stems from the film coming out on Dec. 7, “Ask This of Rikyu”. I welcome this boom and hope that Chanoyu (The Way of Tea) gets more popular! 

 


Rikyu is often introduced as an innovator. He contributed to the evolution of Chanoyu from luxurious to Wabi-Sabi style. For instance, he used a fish basket as a vase as if he is asking you “Isn’t this cool?” How modern he is! A tea master, Soshin Kimura illustrates Rikyu’s novelty like “At a wedding ceremony when everybody is wearing the morning dress, one came wearing a sophisticated washed-out linen shirt and jeans. He captured everybody at a blow.” I have no objection that Rikyu brought a new concept and created new values.

Rikyu is also known as a person with a keen aesthetic sense. Mr. Kenichi Yamamoto, the author of Ask This of Rikyu uniquely infers that Rikyu would not be an easy person to get along with. Rikyu might have sought beauty in every moment even in everyday living. I agree that Rikyu would be very particular about his aesthetics, but I’m not sure if he was stubborn; nobody knows. But then again, it’s very interesting to imagine that he was so.

When I read that Rikyu had an obsession with beauty even in daily life, a story of a grate figure came up in my mind. It’s Steve Jobs at a hospital refusing to wear an oxygen mask because he didn’t like its design. He asked them to bring five different options for the mask and he would pick a design he liked. I imagine that Rikyu would be a person like Mr. Jobs. Not only the obsession with design, they were both into Zen and also they were innovative. I think they are similar. What do you think? Rikyu and Mr. Jobs might have been stubborn but I regard them as people who had an insight into the nature of things and produced new values to the world.

11 comments:

  1. I like the comparison you draw between Rikyu and Steve Jobs. Though I have to wonder if Steve's legacy will last as long (I'm doubtful).

    Speaking of obsession with design and beauty, I checked out your online shop - I really like the simple, modern, and elegant design of the teaware that is available there. :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and shop! I would like to see the history book 500 years from now to check if Mr. Jobs will be in it.

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  2. Nice post. Rikyu seems interesting, and it was a good comparison you made between he and Mr. Jobs. Your blog posts are very pleasant to read. :) thanks!

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    1. Arigato for leaving your comment! I think Mr. Jobs had a clear vision on what he wanted to do, so he had to be stubborn sometimes, at the same time, he must have had a grate passion. So, I can understand that Mr. Yamamoto tried to present Rikyu as a person with passion in Ask This of Rikyu.

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  3. Really hope this movie will get an international release or otherwise be made available to people who need subtitles. :)

    By hte way, have you read the Hyōge mono manga?

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    1. In Japan, the film “Jobs” just released at the theater last month. What a coincidence Mr. Jobs and Rikyu are on screen at the same time! Hahaha.

      Yes, I love Hyogemono!
      My past entry about it >>> http://everyonestea.blogspot.jp/2012/07/my-experience-with-tea-comic.html

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  4. Well, as with many great artists, Jobs apparently treated those in his life quite cruelly at times, and Rikyu, apparently, was ordered to kill himself due to corruption charges..
    Another artistic genius, one of the greatest musicians of the last century, Miles Davis, is shown with his very particular manner in this well preserved interview from 1985: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XnLblYNfIg

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    1. This is my first time to see him speaking. I understand only half of what he was saying. He seemed very unique. Thanks for the link.

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  5. I have been so curious about Japanese pattern books! I'm very much pleased to see your blog, and I guess it would be my first choice, though I have a feeling that the other two books are more my style. Thanks for the giveaway! Www.Denimio.Com

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  6. The Master is never an easy Person .The Master is a Master with hard knowledge and rules .

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