"A story is told of one of the great proponents of wabi sabi, Sen no Rikyu (1522-99). On a journey through southern Japan, he was once invited to a dinner by a host who thought he would be impressed by an elaborate and expensive antique tea jar that he had bought from China. But Rikyu didn’t even seem to notice this item and instead spent his time chatting and admiring a branch swaying in the breeze outside. In despair at this lack of interest, once Rikyu had left, the devastated host smashed the jar to pieces and retired to his room. But the other guests more wisely gathered the fragments and stuck them together through kintsugi. When Rikyu next came to visit, the philosopher turned to the repaired jar and, with a knowing smile, exclaimed: ‘Now it is magnificent’. (Source: The Book of Life)
Mended Korean bowl with painted decoration over a white slip, typical for Keiryu-zan ware.
Korea, 16th century
with Kintsugi repairs, Japan 18th century
H 5.6 cm (2 1/4 in.)
D 13.2 (5 1/4 in.)
On mended ceramics, see: Flickwerk. The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics, Exhibition Catalogue, Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Museum für Lackkunst, 2008
On Keiryuzan ware and its appreciation in Japan, see:
Exhibition catalogue, Osaka 2006: Museum of Oriental Ceramics: Song of birds and dance of fishes: ceramics from Keiryuzan (Tori to sakana no uta: keiryuzan no yakimono), (October 16-March 4, 2006).
or: Exhibition catalogue, Osaka 1983: Museum of Oriental Ceramics. Keiryuzan ware, 15th and 16th centuries. (Keiryuzan no yakimono: 15-16 seiki), (January 15-March 13, 1983).