Monday, October 24, 2022





    I went to Kyoto National Museum to see the exhibition of "Tea in the Cultural life of Kyoto". People recognize that the Tea Ceremony is a symbol of Japanese culture, but originally tea was brought from China in the Nara period and Japanese people had gradually created a Japanese style of Tea Ceremony. There are about 200 exhibits from the Nara period to modern times which included ancient documents, paintings, various tools related to tea ceremony, and reproduced small tea rooms by Sen no rikyu and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. I learned a lot by reading the explanations beside the exhibition.

    There is a big folding screen from Taga Taisha in which a scene was drawn of a Samurai training a horse, the headmaster watching it and the teamaster making tea in the next room, and the pageboy carrying tea to the headmaster.

    It was said that priest Eisai at Ken-nin temple imported the custom of drinking tea from China in the Nara period and there was an old portrait of him in the exhibition. Unfortunately, it was so old and dark so I could only guess that it looked like his eyes. I wanted to ask how I should look at it to the people who were also looking at the portrait but all of them went to the next exhibition. It made me feel a little amused because I knew that they also wondered about it and in the end didn't know what it was.