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Special Exhibition: A Selection of Works by Raku Successive Generations
The Enduring Light in the Soul of the Tea Bowl Maker
Friday 28 April – Sunday 27 August 2023

Raku Chōjirō, the founder of the Raku ware, accomplished a new style of tea bowl under the guidance of Sen Rikyū to encapsulate the tea master’s tea philosophy and aesthetic of wabicha. This was when in Japan there was a prevailing interest in Chinese and Korean wares that were highly praised and sought after as tea bowls to be used in the tea ceremony. In this sense, a native-born Raku tea bowl proposed a new challenge to the mainstream.
The particularity of Raku tea bowls was that they were intentionally made for the tea ceremony inspired by the wabicha philosophy, a core ideal lying behind the making.
These new-born tea bowls yet to be named as Raku ware were initially called ‘imayaki (now-ware) tea bowl’ or ‘Juraku tea bowl’.
While the wheel-throwing has been a principal method of modelling ceramic vessels, Raku tea bowls are always hand-built, the technique being specifically called as tezukune in Japanese terms. Raku tea bowls are achieved by a unique firing process, in which one tea bowl at a time is placed inside the saggar of a double-structured kiln and gets pulled out with a pair of tongs while the bowl is still glowing hot, to completion.
The Raku tradition has been passed down from the founder through to the current head without interruption. Each generation has a goal to find his own expression based on the fundamentals set by Chōjirō who has stood as a spiritual axis.
‘The enduring light’ has never gone out but has stayed on and been delivered to the Reiwa period across the Raku family’s journey of 450 years.
The exhibition showcases the traditional and technical inheritance passed down from generation to generation from the founder to the current head, featuring a selection of works by all the generations, accompanied by a video to show the actual Black Raku firing session, which we hope would help to understand a spiritual background behind the Raku ware and its ongoing tradition.

Closed: Mondays (except National Holidays)
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:30 (last admission 16:00)
*advance reservations NOT required
Admission: Adults ¥1,100
University Students ¥900, High School Students ¥500
Juniour high school student and under - free admission
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