Following, Challenging, Transcending: The Roots and Legacy of the Rikyū Style

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スクリーンショット 2022-09-20 19.45.56


Date Saturday 27 August – Sunday 25 December 2022
Hours: 10:00 ~ 16:30(entry up to 30 minutes before closing.)
Closed:Mondays (except National Holidays)

Adults ¥1,100
University Students ¥900
High School Students ¥500
Juniour high school student and under – free admission


Raku Museum
Access:Aburanokôji-dôri Ichijô sagaru Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-0923
Tel: 075-414-0304


So-called Rikyū style encapsulates a type of aesthetic awareness on which a specific stylistic format is based in association not only with tea utensils but with other art-crafts in general. This is also known as ‘Rikyū-gata’, wherein a stylistic quality of tea utensils such as natsume (tea caddy), chashaku (tea scoop), furo (portable brazier), kama (iron tea kettle) keep the standard of Rikyū’s aesthetic norm and are highly appreciated because of this.
Above all, the tea bowl made by Raku Chōjirō I typically embodies Rikyū’s aesthetics, forming the basis for the fundamental style of all the tea bowls.

However, does it make sense to inherit the established aesthetic format only to follow and pass down?

There is a famous teaching of shuhari advocated by Sen Rikyū, summarising the secrets to understand the issue of tradition, inheritance and innovation.
Shu is to follow or obey the fundamentals of the tradition
Ha is to challenge or break the traditional format and style to give rise to the new.
Ri is to even transcend a ‘following-challenging’ pendulum and to immerse oneself in the pursuit of creativity.

‘To keep the tradition does not mean merely to stick to it but to inherit the spirit of creativity and make it connect with the epoch you live in’: this was a spot-on message left by Raku Kakunyū speaking for all the other Raku generations regarding how to assume the creative spirit.

This exhibition showcases the innovation and creativity explored since the founder across all the successive generations connected with their own time in the realm of ‘making’ under the spirit of shuhari.
Just as an old Chinese saying goes, ‘Gain new insights through studying the past’.

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