Art of Japanese Tea Picnic: Nodate and Chabako

The zen mind immerses itself in the culture of tea, appreciates the transient beauty of the four seasons, and delights in life in its bare factuality.

Japan meets the Western counties through traditional craft. We introduce the culture of tea – an entertainment of creativity and elegance – by means of tea boxes and tea utensils made by unique artists.

Since the old days, people have enjoyed outdoor tea events to admire seasonal delights, such as cherry-blossom viewing during the spring and the changing leaves during the fall. They are events in which people gather, make tea, enjoy and pay respect to nature, contemplate the transience of seasons, and share with each other poetry such as waka and haiku. There is no strict mannerism in outdoor tea.

While kyokusui no utage, an elegant form of leisure entertainment enjoyed by nobles in Heian Period (704-1185), tea culture began in the temple and became refined in the hands of the warrior class. An early example is Doyo Sasaki, a ‘basara’ warrior of the Northern and Southern Courts Period, who threw an extravagant event involving tea ceremony, incense, flower arrangement, and renga collaborative poetry during the flower viewing in Oharano, Kyoto. During the Ashikaga shogunate, also known as the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the tea culture settled as an elegant activity.

Before Sen no Rikyu, tea culture was graceful and gorgeous. There was also a tocha contest (later banned). In addition, there was an element of showy elegance within the wabi-sabi of tea bowls (e.g. a stylish blackness). Therefore, the exhibition will express wabi-sabi that encompasses glamor.

There are no strict rules for nodate, like Western picnic, which makes it welcoming to those who find tea ceremony intimidating. Also, precisely by virtue of this openness, we can combine traditional and modern, or Japanese and western items in a single tea box. We can thus enjoy unique combinations in nodate tea boxes.

In this exhibition, we introduce nodate tea boxes and tea utensils that are small and yet both functional and embody the Japanese aesthetics of kawaii. The exhibition room at Nippon Club will be decorated to resemble the outdoors, and we will display paintings, waka poems and tea boxes with the themes of cherry blossom and autumn flowers. Through the unique combinations of tea boxes put together by various artists, we introducethe nodate, tea culture of Japan that enjoys free and elegant tea time, which is a prevalent style before Sen no Rikyu.

Please don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience “Art of Japanese Tea Picnic”.

During the exhibition, we will hold a workshop.

How to make Matcha!

Miyako Watanabe of Ippodo Tea Co. (started in 1717) will speak about the joy and pleasure of tea and also show how to make Matcha. Please enjoy green tea whisked by yourself with traditional Japanese sweets!

Time: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 17, 2017
Fee: $ 10 (Nippon Club members), $15 (Guests)  (Material Fee $ 10)
The number of seats is limited.
For registration or inquiry, please contact Ms. Honda at yhonda@nipponclub.org.

Period 6/15 (Thu) - 7/19 (Wed)
Hours Monday - Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday closed
Location The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club
145 West 57th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10019
Admission FreeAdmission Free



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