>> Exhibitions
 >> Tea Ceremony Item List

Tea Ceremony

"Tea Ceremony"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 4  October 5, 2021 (Tue) - December 25, 2021 (Sat)

Kyōgenbakama-Style Tea Bowl, Named "Naniwazutsu", Supposedly owned by Sen no Rikyū; passed down by the Konoike clan, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 17th century

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 4 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND Kyōgenbakama-Style Tea Bowl, Named “Naniwazutsu” Korea, Supposedly owned by Sen no Rikyū; passed down by the Konoike clan Joseon dynasty, 17th century TG-2969
_MD_EXPLANATION Incense Container in the Shape of a Temple Foundation Stone Iga ware Edo period, 17th century G-193
_MD_RECOMMEND Cylindrical Tea Bowl, Named "Mitsudori (Three Birds)" By Sa'nyū (1685–1739); Raku ware, black-Raku type Edo period, 1733 G-78
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Poem from a Pilgrimage to Kumano By Asukai Masatsune (1170–1221) Kamakura period, 1200 B-2404 On exhibit through November 14, 2021
Page Top