Antique CHABAKO - Boxes for Tea Utensils - Ebiya Style

Apr 15, 2021 - May 26, 2021

About Exhibition

Organized by The Nippon Club
Supported by the J.C.C. Fund

(Philanthropic Fund of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York)

About 400 years ago, Sen no Rikyu carried a box with small tea utensils to enjoy a bowl of tea in the open air. It is said to have been the start of “Chabako.” If you have hot water, you can enjoy delicious green tea at any time and any place, which is the absolute pleasure of a “Chabako,” a box containing all essential tea utensils.

Sen no Rikyu, using his tremendous aesthetic sense, decided the form of tea utensils and brought them into chanoyu objects that were not initially made for it. This was called ‘mitate’. The word ‘mitate’ means ‘to see an item,’ not in the form that was initially intended for it, but as another thing.

This exhibition introduces a collection of antique “Chabako” assembled by Mr. Masahiro Miyake, the 9th generation of the antique art store “Ebiya” in Nihonbashi district in Tokyo. There is an exquisite “pillow for travel” set that holds the necessary vessel. It was used by Samurais to prepare tea and also to sleep on when traveling. All of the collections are wrapped in a shifuku, which is essential protection for utensils. Each shifuku is custom fit for each utensil. Tying a knot is an art form as well.

We are pleased to present a collection of 30 antique Chabakos, which took Mr. Miyake over 20 years to assemble, with the spirit of passing on rare and valuable antique art and tools to the next generation.

This exhibition is supervised by Mr. Masahiro Miyake, curated by Ms. Shoko Hayashi and photo by Mr. Masao Katagami.