The Use of Scrolls in Chanoyu and Utsushi - An Ethnographic Study in Honolulu and Kyoto

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2013-07-16
Authors
Geisse, Cristina
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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In this study I approach the study of chanoyu using the native Japanese concept of utsushi, or the “art of copying”, to evaluate practitioners’ opinions and experiences related to the use of hanging scrolls, or kakemono. By reviewing the descriptions found in literature and also by observing practices in contemporary settings I have created an analysis of how, kakemono were used in the past with the intent of recording the changes in current expressions. The purpose of investigating the written records as well as personal experiences of practitioners was to better understand the idealized and formal discourse surrounding the use of scrolls--in other words the “tradition”--and to observe the transformations or adaptations performed by instructors and students in the actual settings. This research helps us to better understand the complexities of contemporary practice of tea in Japan and overseas, examining the tensions and contradictions that practitioners confront when choosing to use traditional utensils or new ones#.
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55 pages
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