Tea Culture of Japan


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Sadako Ohki; With a contribution by Takeshi Watanabe


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Out of Print

Imported to Japan from China during the 9th century, the custom of serving tea did not become widespread until the 13th century. By the late 15th and 16th centuries, tea was ceremonially prepared by a skilled tea master and served to guests in a tranquil setting. This way of preparing tea became known as chanoyu, literally “hot water for tea.” 


This elegant book explores the aesthetics and history of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, examining the nature of tea collections and the links between connoisseurship, politics, and international relations. It also surveys current practices and settings in light of the ongoing transformation of the tradition in contemporary tea houses. Among the precious objects discussed and pictured are ceramic tea bowls, wooden tea scoops, metal sake pourers, and lacquered incense containers, as well as folding screens that evoke the historical settings of serving tea.

Distributed for the Yale University Art Gallery

Exhibition Schedule:

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (January 20, 2009 – April 26, 2009)

Sadako Ohki is the Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. Takeshi Watanabe is visiting assistant professor in history and art history at Connecticut College.


Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (January 20, 2009 – April 26, 2009)

"Its slight and graceful appearance is deceptive as this book packs more than 170 color illustrations and a wealth of knowledge into its 100-plus pages.  A stylish book, Tea Culture of Japan, explores the traditions of the Japanese tea ceremony. . . . This book, the first English-language exhibition catalog on this topic, is of interest to both scholars and general collectors." —Peter LF. Blackman, Antiques & the Arts Weekly
ISBN: 9780300146929
Publication Date: March 10, 2009
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Yale University Art Gallery
112 pages, 8 1/4 x 10 3/4
174 color illus.
The Private World of Surimono

Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection

Sadako Ohki; With Adam Haliburton

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