The Cosmos in a Tea Bowl

茶碗の中の宇宙 樂家一子相伝の芸術

Subtitled 'Transmitting a Secret Art Across Generations of the Raku Family', the National Museum of Modern Art's spring special ought to be an interesting one even if you aren't acquainted with all the intricacies of the tea ceremony. In the business of crafting teaware and related utensils since the 16th century, the Rakus have upheld tradition over 15 generations through the method of isshi soden. The idea of passing down the secrets of an art from father to only one son has been practised in Japan since antiquity, and the Rakus' body of work is one of the most impressive testaments to such transcendent dedication. Here you'll see pieces from throughout their history, beginning with work by Chojiro, the first head of the family, and stretching all the way to that of Kichizaemon, who assumed the title in 1981. Previously held as far afield as Los Angeles and St Petersburg, this epic display finally comes to Tokyo in March.


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