Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui



A national treasure "Yohen Tenmoku tea bowl" | Nara National Museum


Kyoto and Nara

I went to Nara City last weekend. At that time, the Nara National Museum was holding a special exhibition that the national treasure "Yohen Tenmoku tea bowl" has been displayed to the public, so I visited the museum for the first time to see the tea bowl.


The Yohen Tenmoku tea bowls are said to have been made in the Southern Sung period (the 12th to 13th century) in China, only three have been passed down in Japan, and all of the three tea bowls are designated as national treasures. This year, the three Yohen Tenmoku tea bowls were respectively exhibited in Seikado Bunko Art Museum in Tokyo, Miho Museum in Shiga Prefecture and the Nara National Museum almost at the same time. The large and small lazuline spots appeared on the tea bowls called Yohen give off a radiance like stars in the universe. The reason why these spots appear on them has not been completely explained yet and it is said that it's impossible to replicate it.


I could enter the museum without waiting but when I entered into the exhibition room, I saw a long line to see the tea bowl that is displayed in a separate booth that the lights were dimmed. So, I saw other exhibits first and got in the line. And then I had a long wait for seeing the tea bowl. And at last when I saw the tea bowl, it caught my breath at the brilliance like jewelry. It can be seen from all directions, so the lazuline spots look different depending on from where you are viewing. I was able to enjoy the beauty of the Yohen Tenmoku tea bowl that looked as if there was the galaxy in the tea bowl and I wanted to continuously watch it forever.


At the special exhibition, other nine national treasures and fifty three important cultural properties were also exhibited from Fujita Museum, which were simply overwhelming. (H.S)


The Yohen Tenmoku tea bowl viewed from above (Photo is from the web site of the Fujita Museum)


Corner for taking photos in the museum


In the courtyard of the museum, there is a tea house and you can walk across there.


I also saw Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall on the museum's property. (The museum entrance fee covers the hall) This is the west side of the hall. (Photo is from the museum's website) In the hall, over hundred Buddhist sculptures are exhibited, which is the must-see hall for those who love ones.


After long viewing, I had cool Kuzukiri (translucent sliced arrowroot) at Kurokawa Honke in Yumekaze Hiroba in front of Todaiji Temple, which was so delicious!