Winter Exhibition Raku: Vessels Born for Tea

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Winter Exhibition Raku: Vessels Born for Tea
Dec 3, 2016(sat) – Feb 26, 2017(sun)  
Hours: 10:00 ~ 16:30(entry up to 30 minutes before closing.)
Closed: Monday (Open: if the Monday is a national holiday) 

Adults ¥900
Student Concessions: university ¥700 high school ¥400
Under junior high free admission


Raku Museum
Access: 84 Aburanokôji Nakadachi-uri agaru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto,
602-0923, Japan 
Tel: 075-414-0304
Hours: 10:00 ~ 16:30
(entry up to 30 minutes before closing.)
Closed: Monday (Open: if the Monday is a national holiday)


Vessels, utsuwa in Japanese, have been the necessities for our everyday life since ancient days. Material such as glass, ceramic, metal, or even a foil of leaf could be formed into vessels. They fascinate us in their practicality and in their visual presentation when used accordingly to our needs and our aesthetic sensibility.

In Japan various centers of ceramic production are known for their characteristic style of vessels. Above all, Raku wares that came into being during the Tenshô years of the Momoyama period (1573-92) are distinguished by a highly unique origin as they were produced purposely to serve matcha tea, powder green tea.
The outset was when Raku Chôjirô, inspired and guided by Sen Rikyû who established wabicha, wabi way of tea, created a teabowl as the embodiment of tea aesthetics of the tea master. The absence of decorative elements or variation in shape characterising this newly launched vessel called Raku surprised people in those days.
The original intention of the founder has been generationally passed down over 400 years to continue till today when the current 15th generation of the Raku family is still in practice.
The task of each Raku head is to understand what Chôjirô tried to convey through teabowl and digest it in his own manner without imitating the work of the founder, significantly confronting himself and searching for his individuality in doing so.

This exhibition showcases a wide range of function that Raku wares provide as ‘vessels’ in the tea ceremony tradition, featuring not only teabowl but also mukôzuke dish, cake bowl, food container, etc., classically used for the tea ceremony.

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