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Tea Ceremony

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Tea Ceremony

by Kasamatsu Shirō, 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)
 Series  
 Catalogue Raisonné  U-114 (as listed in Shiro Kasamatsu - The Complete Woodblock Prints, Dr. Andreas Gund, self-published by the author, 2001, Tokyo)
 Artist
 Kasamatsu Shirō (1898–1991)
 Signature
 
紫浪 Shirō (left IHL Cat. #1178; right IHL Cat. #8)
 Seal  Shirō
 Date  originally published 1954 (Shōwa 29) 昭和 廿九
 Edition
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.
 Publisher
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

 Printer
left - IHL Cat. #1178: suri Takenaka 竹中
right - IHL Cat. #8: suri Shinmi (Shinmi Saburo)
 Carver
left - IHL Cat. #1178: hori Nagashima (Nagashima Michio)
right - IHL Cat. #8: hori Nagashima (Nagashima Michio)
 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 
 Miscellaneous  
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints)
 Format  Oban 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 Literature

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