Otagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875) | Three tea bowls

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Rusticity, austerity and simplicity
Chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony, which originated in fifteenth-century Kyoto, began as a pastime of the elites – high-ranking warrions, Buddhist monks and aristocrats. By the late sixteenth century, wealthy well-educated urban merchants also participated, one of whom, Sen no Rikyu, codified the now familiar Zen-influenced aesthetic identity for Chanoyu that celebrates rusticity, austerity and simplicity. By Rengetsu’s time, the diverse participants in Chanoyu obtained utensils from othodox potter lineages such as Raku, used vessels they made themselves as self-taught amateurs, of obtained them from new sources that included porvinicial kilns and workshops of independent potters, among them nuns such as Rengetsu.

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