Handmade Culture is the first comprehensive and cohesive study in any language to examine Raku, one of Japan's most famous arts and a pottery technique practiced around the world. More than a history of ceramics, this innovative work considers four centuries of cultural invention and reinvention during times of both political stasis and socioeconomic upheaval. It combines scholarly erudition with an accessible story through its lively and lucid prose and its generous illustrations. The author's own experiences as the son of a professional potter and a historian inform his unique interdisciplinary approach, manifested particularly in his sensitivity to both technical ceramic issues and theoretical historical concerns. By foregrounding the web of interactions between potters, tea practitioners, merchants, warriors, and eventually modernizing intellectuals, the present volume tracks broader developments in the culture of early modern Japan. It concludes by examining the repercussions of modernity, particularly in the multiple reconfigurations of tea and ceramics in early art exhibitions, art historical writings, and nationalistic publications on Japanese culture.
||U of Hawaii Press