Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The movie of Japanese aesthetic

This is my first time to go to theater on the premiere day of a film. I saw “Ask This of Rikyu” which I was looking forward to. I can’t judge if this was a good movie because I have read the original book and I have a favorable perspective of chanoyu (The Way of Tea). I generally think that it’s unreasonable to put the whole story from a book in just a few hours of film, the story often becomes shallow. I kind of find this file the same. However, what I was looking forward to seeing in this movie was Rikyu’s carriage in the ceremony and how they visually express the beauty on actual images. It’s worth watching for tea enthusiasts and Japanese culture lovers.

Nowadays, the manners in the tea ceremony are slightly different among tea schools even though the primary concept and procedure are the same. One of my biggest interests on this movie is to see how Rikyu’s ceremony and performance were like. I was satisfied with how the producers came up to show Rikyu’s behavior. It was very acceptable and natural. It gets me to imagine as if Rikyu performed so. The manners are a mixture of traditions of the three Sen-family tea schools that now exist, Omotesenke, Urasenke and Mushakojisenke. It was interesting to guess which manner is from which school tradition.  

When an actor tries to act some kind of profession, he might not look realistic enough to the people who are actually doing it. Even though ordinary people don’t notice them, the practitioner can find some awkwardness in his act. Don’t you think it happens sometimes? However, I as a tea trainee didn’t find such turnoff with Mr. Ebizo Ichikawa as Rikyu or rather his movements were even beautiful. I actually loved how he opened the lid of his tea container. I have already tried his way in the tea lesson last night, hahaha… There are some other movements that I want to copy. 


Rikyu’s behavior was surely beautiful. However, the beauty you can find in this film is not only that. I was fascinated with the artistic images. They are not spectacular or gorgeous. They are simple which you need to feel in your mind. When you discover it, you will hear “wow” from the innermost part of your heart. Those beauties were nothing special. You can find them in your surrounding nature. You might overlook them usually. They just cut them out and presented nicely. It maybe the essential of chanoyu, The Way of Tea, to enjoy discovering beauty in natural things. I hope this movie is shown overseas to introduce Japanese sense of beauty.