The Way of Tea has for centuries been a cornerstone of Japanese culture and aesthetic beauty. An old Japanese proverb states: “If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”

Within the tea world there are stunning gardens, contemplative tea rooms, seasonal flowers, delicious foods, and varied tea vessels made of bamboo, lacquer, glass and most often clay. It’s the latter material that is the most varied and used in the Way of Tea throughout its long history. How contemporary ceramic artists are adapting their tea wares to the present day is the theme of a most remarkable exhibition now showing at the Musee Tomo, Tokyo, and titled “The Musee Tomo Prize, Contemporary Ceramics for the Tea Ceremony: Free Creativity and Atypical Usage.”

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