This is limited edition only available in spring and summer season.
(Please note: Because this item is made-to-order, it takes approximately 3 weeks from the time you order this item until the date it is shipped from Kyoto, Japan. Once ordered, any order change or cancel can NOT be accepted. If you order this item with other items, they will be shipped together.)
The Tale of Genji is one of the oldest novels in the world. Written by noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu of the Japanese Imperial Court, this novel is composed of 54 stories and more than 800 WAKA Japanese poems.
The work recounts the life of Hikaru Genji, from his birth to death, and afterward. Through the book, Murasaki describes the life of aristocracy, romance in the Imperial Court, and political disputes. She expertly portrays the internal emotion and expression of each character of her novel.
We, Hibiki-an have collaborated with Zenshoh Yamaoka, who is the leading expert of paintings derived from masterpieces in the middle ages and acclaimed Kyo Yaki artisan, to release a series of Matcha bowls featuring the Tale of Genji. Zenshoh Yamaoka selected 12 stories out of 54, one suitable for each month of the year, arranged by season.
Zenshoh Yamaoka expresses luxury and elegance in the palace, the secrets of human nature in each scene, and WABI-SABI aesthetic during this time, by making full use of various techniques. For example, in order to portray the gorgeous scenes of the Imperial Court, he uses luxurious gold to paint clouds, Japanese traditional cloth KIMONO, auspicious ornaments and so forth. This effect characterizes the affluent lifestyle of the Japanese Imperial Court during this period and makes the Matcha bowl brilliant. Clouds are one of the key features of the bowl. Clouds are frequently used in Japanese traditional painting to separate and define space and time. The use of golden clouds makes this Matcha bowl bright and luxurious.
YUGAO is the name of the flower, and also the name of a girl whom Hikaru Genji loved. This is a story of the first encounter between Hikaru Genji and Yugao, and a sad farewell. Hikaru Genji first met Yugao during a visit to his foster-mother. He found white flowers blooming along the building wall next to his foster-mother’s house. Yugao emerged from this house, and presented some of the white flowers on a fan, on which a WAKA Japanese poem was written. Hikaru Genji was so fascinated by her behavior that he approached her, and they finally came to meet without revealing their identity. They often met each other, and one day, when they went for a trip secretly and stayed one night for the first time, he dreamed of a woman who was quite angry. He suddenly awoke, and saw YUGAO lose consciousness, and she died at dawn. The woman who had appeared in his dream was Rokujo no Miyasudokoro, whom Hikaru Genji once loved. Her spirit, which was filled with jealousy, possessed Yugao, and caused her death. He was overwhelmed by grief.
This Matcha bowl portrays the scene where Hikaru Genji met Yugao for the first time. The luxurious carriage which Hikaru Genji took is depicted in the lower right. Some Yugao white flowers are arranged along the building wall. White petals are elaborately decorated inside and outside the bowl. Fresh green Yugao leaves and golden vines are well contrasted to the Yugao white flower. A white fan which Yugao presented to Hikaru Genji in the story is painted inside the bowl. Even though Hikaru Genji and Yugao are not painted on this bowl, the design on this bowl represents the fateful encounter between them.
One of the focal points on this Matcha bowl is its earthenware texture. The carriage which Hikaru Genji took is painted with a luxurious touch. On the other hand, the building wall, gate and roof create a humble atmosphere. The texture of the Matcha bowl harmonizes the luxurious design of the carriage with the simple housing. Orange flecks are from a traditional technique known as GOHONDE, and its color blends into the earthenware texture. This technique and characteristic also give the bowl a warm atmosphere.
Golden clouds hide some portions of the carriages and buildings, and this effect stimulates the viewer’s creativity. Your imagination completes the parts of the scene which are not shown. The artist's soft touch and use of color on this bowl will enrich the taste of Matcha.