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Tea Ceremony

"Tea Ceremony"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 4  July 20, 2021 (Tue) - October 3, 2021 (Sun)

  
Tea Bowl Named "Kimura", Korea, Joseon dynasty, 16th–17th century (Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige)

Tea drinking and its role in society changed over time. In the 12th century, Zen monks introduced a new kind of tea drinking from China: green tea was ground into a powder and mixed with hot water. Monks drank this tea as a medicine and to stay awake during meditation.

Before long, the samurai also began to drink tea and competed for prizes in blind tasting competitions. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the elite samurai who ruled Japan focused on the aesthetics of tea drinking. They collected valuable Chinese works like paintings and tea bowls, displaying and using them during tea gatherings.

A century later, Sen no Rikyū (1522–91) established the foundations of the tea ceremony. When serving tea, he used valuable Chinese works together with simple utensils. He also stressed humility and the beauty of imperfection. Elite samurai practiced his style and its variations as a social, aesthetic, and spiritual pursuit.

From its origins until the present, the tea ceremony has always incorporated diverse genres of art. Works that tea masters believed had great aesthetic or historical value were carefully passed down through the generations. A selection of these works is shown here and changed regularly to reflect the seasons.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 5 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND Tea Bowl Named "Kimura" Korea Joseon dynasty, 16th–17th century Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige, TG-2705
_MD_RECOMMEND Tea Scoop Named "Kame (Turtle)" By Sugiki Fusai (1628–1706) Edo period, 17th century Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige, G-5379
_MD_RECOMMEND Part of the "Later Collection of Gleanings of Japanese Poetry" (One of the "Naka-no-in Fragments") Attributed to Minamoto no Sanetomo Heian period, 11th–12th century Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige, B-2896 On exhibit from August 31, 2021
_MD_RECOMMEND Shallow Bowl with a Flowering Plant Mino ware, yellow-Seto type Azuchi-Momoyama–Edo period, 16th–17th century Gift of Mr. Hirota Matsushige, G-5311
_MD_RECOMMEND Liquor Bottle Korea Joseon dynasty, 18th–19th century Gift of the Ogura Foundation, TG-2813
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