Exhibitions

CHANOYU Utensils and Equipment from the Museum Collection

2021.10.29|Fri| - 2021.12.12|Sun|

Overview

MOA Museum of Art presents a comprehensive exhibition of tea-related implements and instruments from its collection, showcasing the beauty and charm of Japan’s unique practicing art, chanoyu.

The custom of tea drinking was introduced from China in the 12th century, initially practiced in Japan at zen temples. In the Muromachi period (14–16th centuries), it was elevated to a cultured pastime among noble men and those in power, who marveled imported Chinese utensils. Toward the end of the 15th century, a new style of tea known as wabi-cha was created by Murata Jukō, to appreciate simplicity in a choreographed setting, sōan (a frugal little hut). Takeno Jōō, a wealthy merchant in the Sakai district of Osaka, promoted this particular style of tea among townspeople, and it was later formalized and established by Sen-no-Rikyū.

Subsequent masters of tea, while respecting the traditional ways, developed their own arrangements, together with new utensils to match their styles and sense of aesthetics. Soon, the tea became a cultural phenomenon, extending its scope to architecture, landscaping, cuisine, and ikebana. Eventually, a comprehensive practicing art was born: chanoyu—the Japanese way of tea. The exhibition invites you to delve into the world of chanoyu and its afficionados.