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The Cosmos in a Tea Bowl: Transmitting a Secret Art across Generations of the Raku Family

Ceramic utensils are usually sculpted at the potter’s wheel before being fired in batches. However, Raku ware, a type of pottery introduced during the 16th century by ceramist Chojiro, is shaped by hand using a spatula, with each piece being individually fired. This traditional craft, usually used for chanoyu (tea ceremony) utensils, has been passed down over the generations to Kichizaemon, the current and 15th head of the Raku family, who is also a ceramist genius.

The exhibition charts the Raku family’s artistry through historical works by Chojiro, who was particularly admired by the tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), Kichizaemon and other big names, such as Donyu III and Kakunyu XIV. (Yuki Yamauchi)