Shiro Tsujimura and the Wonder of Tea Bowls

Shiro Tsujimura and the Wonder of Tea Bowls

"Tea Bowl is really a mysterious object.
 I've made a lot of things, but I've never seen anything like this."

Among pottery, tea bowls have a very strange existence. The price of tea ware is overwhelmingly higher than that of other things. Mr. Tsujimura jokes, "The price of a similar item varies depending on whether it is a tea container or not. 

In Japan, where rice is the main food, there is no other vessel as common as a tea bowl. Every household has at least one tea bowl. It is the simplest form of utensil that has been used in various civilizations and regions around the world since ancient times.

A high priest of the Zen sect sipped matcha tea after completing his morning duties. After enjoying the tea, he forgot about the time for an hour or two, gazing at every part of the tea bowl, caressing it, and holding it as if he were nursing a baby. "If you hold the tea bowl like this every day, something good will happen to it. " He smile.

An American friend chooses one tea bowl of the day and places it in a special place. The light coming in through the triangular windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the light reflecting off the surface of the river running beside the house illuminate the tea bowl. He wrote me a letter saying that one of the best times in his life is the time he spends from morning to night, looking at the tea bowls illuminated by the light that changes with time.

A Russian businessman bought a lot of Tsujimura tea bowls, brought them back to Russia, and built a room just for appreciating them. He said that touching the tea ware in his room is the only place where he can free himself from the severe pressure of business, and that it is a healing and comforting experience in his life.

Mr. Tsujimura started making pottery and tea bowls when he encountered one of the Oido tea tea bowl at the Japan Folk Art Museum. He later wrote about this encounter as follows

・・・・When I think about it now, I can't help but think what a comforting tea bowl it was... I can only describe it as a state of mind where I was facing a human being, rather than a tea tray, as if I was facing a great motherly compassion.

Someone once said that if you look into a tea bowl, you can see the universe...and for some people, it really is the universe itself. I wonder if there is any other kind of pottery that interacts with its owner in such a way.

The tea bowls are for use. When you look into it, there is only a tea bowl. Whether or not you can "find" the universe in it depends on its owner. A tea bowl is a very mysterious object.

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