Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tea bowl exhibition in the museum

Is “change” good?  I had this question after I went to a tea bowl exhibition at Matsuzakaya Museum (  The exhibition was about the Japanese domestic products from origin to contemporary pieces.   You can see the history of raku and Mino wares.

Most impressive piece for me was the raku tea bowl named “Kamuro” made by Chojiro.  It was very simple and rustic without any decorations.  The texture was earthy and size is smaller than I thought.  I could not imagine how perfectly this bowl fits in the Rikyu’s tea room, Taian.

In the end of the exhibition, there was a panel with a comment from Raku Kichizaemon XV.  I don’t remember the exact phrase, but he was saying something like “Tea is enjoyed more casually and freely nowadays and will be that way in the future. But, there won’t be the spirit of *Rikyu or **Wabi-Sabi there.”   I was shocked with his warning.  I’ve been thinking that enjoying tea casually is good thing, but it might not be totally correct.  I find his products very distinctive, and I thought he is a kind of person who is trying to create something new or something different.  But, he is actually worried about our tea culture.   I may need to learn from the past and create new for the future.

*Rikyu: the most significant tea master in the history who has perfected The Way of Tea
**wabi-sabi:  Japanese beauty found in simplicity and rusticity.


  1. Hello,Kohei,
    this Raku bowl looks fantastic.All those wabi-sabi imperfections and uneven rim,a true embodiment of the Way of Tea,all the philosophy of observing and enjoying in simple things and constant change is reflected in its beauty.
    Yes,the old masters knew it well that drinking tea may be a lot more than just a social gathering.We may all learn from their wisdom for the future.And l like your thoughts as well.:)

  2. Hi, Adriano-san, I can’t agree with you more. You said everything^^ I think you do have a deep understanding about our culture.

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