One of the challenges in planning and implementing public programs is making sure we have appropriate images to represent our programs, sometimes a frustrating and time-consuming process. The image being used to promote our upcoming tea program is not correct.
What’s wrong with this picture? The tea programs on Nov. 14 feature presentations by members of the Omotesenke tradition of tea. In the Omotesenke tradition, tea is prepared using many of the same utensils as any other Japanese tea lineage, but the tea is not whisked quite so vigorously as others might (for example the image above, which shows an Urasenke-style bowl of tea). Rather, Omotesenke style tea is blended more gently and has less froth on the top. I searched Google images for a more appropriate picture and I found only a few, such as this one in ceramic artist Cory Lum’s Flickr stream. I will need to be sure to take our own picture of an Omotesenke bowl of tea next week so we can have one readily available for future programs. Or if there are any Omotesenke practitioners out there who have rights to a good image you are willing to let us use, please let me know.
Want to know how to prepare a bowl of tea at home? Come to our workshop on November 14. On that same day you may also attend a tea gathering where you will be served a sweet and bowl of tea at the museum’s tearoom. This is our last tea of 2009 and thus is special in the annual tea calendar. It is a time to reflect on the past year and consider all the things you might like to complete before the new year, people you want to see, and make preparations to ensure that the coming year is a good one.
Tea bowl by Nonomura Ninsei (1615-1700) Stoneware with polychrome enamel decoration. Gift of the Connoisseurs' Council and Bruce and Betty Alberts, 1991.230.
It is also a time when people use utensils with images of the twelve animals from the Chinese zodiac, such as this bowl with a dragon image. We are in the year of the Ox and are coming up to the year of the Tiger on February 14, 2010. People will have lots of fun bringing out their utensils with tiger motifs in particular since that is the year ahead. Although Japan has adopted the Western calendar and celebrates New Year’s Day on January 1, there are still many traditions that are linked to the Chinese calendar system which is based on the lunar cycle. Here is an article about the tea calendar.