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otagaki rengetsu poetry chawan tea bowl poem

Otagaki Rengetsu | Teabowl


She was obsessed. Obsessed with poetry. Obsessed with pottery. And she scratched her poetry onto her pottery. In doing so Otagaki Rengetsu put an end to the long standing separation of immaterial beauty of poetry and the material poetry of ceramics. She made them one. This was bold, particularly when it came to ceramics used in the tea ceremony, celebrating rusticity, austerity and simplicity.

And still today we sense Rengetsu’s artistic boldness in her poetic pottery and potted poetry.


On Mount Yoshida 
behind the tips of the pines
the moon has fallen—
in Kita-Shirakawa
the sound of a bell.


Otagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875)
Glazed ceramic 
H: 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.), Diam. 10.8 cm (4 1/4 in.)

Wooden box


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Further reading: Patricia J. Graham: Otagaki Rengetsu and the Japanese Tea Ceremony, in: Black Robe White Mist, 2007, pp. 63-64).

SKU: 2674
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