Tea Scoop, known as TSUKI-E-IPPO by Kawase Torasaburo

  • 20c
  • Wood
  • D-20 W-1.6
Catalogue Entry

Kawase Iorasaburo (1888-1970) was born in Tokushima. Renowned as a collector and connoisseur of swords, Kawase later developed an interest in the tea ceremony. He was particularly interested in the free combination of Buddhist implements and old ceramics in his tea ceremonies, later focusing on “Nara tea," or events which brought together implements closely related somehow to Nara.

The bamboo container for this tea scoop is inscribed “Tsuki e ippo kigen nisen roppyaku nijukyu nen shichigatsu nijuichi nichi asa goji" This can be loosely translated as “A step on the moon, Kigen 2629 [1969] July 21st, 5 am" Thus this scoop was carved on the day that the American spaceship Apollo 11 safely landed on the moon, July 21, 1969. In this commemoration of the first human footprint on the Moon, we sense in Kawase not just a surface affection for antique art, but rather a broad‐ranging, uninhibited aesthetic rooted in daily life.