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Collection Tier:
Tier 3

Food & Drink
Ceremonial Artifacts ➔ Bowls

These Japanese bowls are made of porcelain and have images of Japanese individuals on the inside bottoms. Bowls such as these were used in the tea ceremony or chanoyu which means “hot water for tea”. The beverage itself was first introduced to Japan in the form of a powder called matcha. Eventually China began using tea leaves named sencha, and the practice spread throughout Asia. This new version of the ancient drink inspired the Japanese to create decorated porcelain tea bowls, reserved only for tea ceremonies. The outsides of these bowls were often decorated with painted natural scenes in blue, brown, or iron red.   

The culturally important tea ceremony was developed in the 16th century for rulers, warriors, and the wealthy. It is a ritualistic way of preparing and drinking matcha that requires many years to master. Guests enter through a low doorway which, according to legend, prevented visitors from hiding a sword beneath one’s robes. Participants are then welcomed into a traditional tearoom to experience the host’s hospitality over green tea. Often surrounded by a peaceful garden, the ceremony is designed to create a moment of calm in the ever rushing world.     
Current Location Status:
Education Program

Discovery Kit: Foodways (October 25 2019)
Discovery Kits include a variety of artifacts and specimens from the Museum’s Collection that allow students to investigate global and local objects. The Collections support the Museum’s mission of inspiring curiosity and discovery around science, history, and culture. Each kit includes objects from the Museums archives, helpful resources and suggested activities. Discovery Kits are a great way for teachers to incorporate primary source and object-based learning into the classroom or as a way to prepare for or extend a Museum visit.    

Virtual Discovery Kit: Foodways (May 2020)
Food is a universal language. Discover how cultures around the world work in the kitchen.