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Tea Ceremony


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Tea Ceremony

by Kasamatsu Shirō, originally 1954

IHL Cat. #8
(early or first edition)
IHL Cat. #117
(undated, possibly 21st century edition)

About This Print

Two editions, the on the left an early or first edition and the print on the right a more recent, possibly 21st century, edition.

The Tea Ceremony

Source: Artelino website http://www.artelino.com/articles/japanese_tea_ceremony.asp

The Japanese tea ceremony is called chanoyu or sado in Japanese and the bitter tea served is called matcha. It is basically a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving tea together with some sweets. Each movement is predefined. The whole process is not about drinking tea, it is about aesthetics. The proper performance requires a long training and the use of certain tools like chasen, a bamboo brush.

The cult of the tea ceremony spread from China to Japan as early as in the eight century, but it did not become popular until the late 16th century, when during the Momoyama period a refined way of manners and customs developed among the aristocratic and samurai classes.

The great master of the Japan tea ceremony was Sen no Rikyu who lived from 1522 to 1591. Since then the art of sado has been handed down from generation to generation. Sado is practiced in different schools, with each school having slightly different choreographic forms. The main schools are Ura, Omote, and Mushakoji.

Being regarded as an art form of its own, the Japanese tea ceremony had significant impact on other forms of arts and crafts. It was a major force in the development of Japanese porcelain manufacturing.

In today's Japan there are different opinions about the tea ceremony, but most Japanese regard it as part of their cultural heritage. The interest to learn chanoyu as a hobby, is large. But there are also many young Japanese who regard chanoyu as simply boring. 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #8 and #1178
 Title Tea Ceremony (茶の湯 chanoyu)
 Kasamatsu Shirō (1898–1991)
紫浪 Shirō (left IHL Cat. #1178; right IHL Cat. #8)
 Seal Shirō
 Date originally published 1954 (Shōwa 29) 昭和 廿九
IHL Cat. #8: likely a first, or early (pre-1960), edition as indicated by date  昭和 廿九 ( Shōwa 29) on the bottom of the left margin. (For more information on dating Unsōdō prints see the article Unsōdō Publishing.)

IHL Cat. #1178: no date on print.  A later edition, but date unknown.
Unsōdō [Marks: pub. ref. 566; seal not shown]

left - IHL Cat. #1178: 芸艸堂 版 Unsōdō han
right - IHL Cat. #8:  東京 芸艸堂 版 Tokyo Unsōdō han

left - IHL Cat. #1178: suri Takenaka 摺 竹中
right - IHL Cat. #8: suri Shinmi 摺 新味 (Shinmi Saburō 新味三朗)
left - IHL Cat. #1178: hori Nagashima 彫 長嶋
(Nagashima Michio 長嶋道男)
right - IHL Cat. #8: hori Nagashima 彫 長嶋
(Nagashima Michio 長嶋道男)
 Impression IHL Cat. #8 - excellent
 IHL Cat. #1178 - excellent
 Colors IHL Cat. #8 - excellent
 IHL Cat. #1178 - excellent
 Condition IHL Cat. #8 - excellent - minor toning and mat line
 IHL Cat. #1178 - excellent 
 Genre shin hanga (new prints)
 Format ōban tate-e
 H x W Paper IHL Cat. #8 and #1178: 16 x 10 3/4 in. (40.6 x 27.3 cm)
 H x W Image IHL Cat. #8 and #1178: 14 3/8 x 9 1/2 in. (36.5 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference LiteratureCatalogue Raisonné: U-114 as listed in Shiro Kasamatsu - The Complete Woodblock Prints, Dr. Andreas Gund, self-published by the author, 2001
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