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2001 Newsletter Archive



                   Written by Robert Yellin

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October 2001


Kodai (The Foot); Shino Ware

Thoughts From Japan
I hope this finds you well after what has been a very trying time for our turning world. Indeed, it's not over, but we must go on to find beauty and compassionate 'truth' in our daily lives. The spirit of Zen and Tea can only help with that inner and outward search.

I think we must get back to our daily routines as much as possible. I have not updated my sites in respect and mourning for all that has been lost. It is time to put those wordless feelings in another space in my heart -- never to forget -- and flow on. I sincerely hope the coming days will bring about a wisdom from our elected leaders that benefits all humanity.

Sometimes what is not seen or paid much attention to has great importance. It can be an event in history that leads to blowback or the base of a pot. About ten days ago some interesting photographs and information about koudai or 'a foot' were uploaded to Much is to be found and learnt there and it offers a chance to see what's up under a good pot. When you have a moment, and the inclination, please do have a look. I photographed the koudai of some great contemporary potters. To go directly to that page, click the below link.

In Japanese pottery nothing is purer than Shino. It was the first white glazed wares in Japan and we all know what the color white stands for. There is a softness and charm to the feldspar glazes of Shino unlike any other pottery in the world. I have chosen to update today with a Shino chawan. A Shino chawan played a role in one of Kawabata Yasunari's novels and I invite you to read his Nobel Prize acceptance speech here:

Not many chawan have been designated National Treasures but one great Shino chawan was named Unohanagaki (Deutzia Trellis). That shows the importance of a Shino chawan in the Japanese ceramic world.

It has been a year since e-y net has opened and in Japan the word kansha is often used on such occasions. Kansha means to appreciate; appreciate each other, the gifts of nature, and the gift of family and friendship. Many shops, temples, and offices have kansha events and I would like to offer my kansha to you.

I say that in heartfelt words and will also offer 10% off on any item on my site.

It's a small thing I know. I can also include some green tea (ocha) so you can spend a few quiet Zen moments to give kansha for all that you have as well. For any that ask, I shall send that as well.

It's time to sit quietly and reflect upon what we shall say and feel about others. Gazing upon and using one of humanity's most ancient arts – pottery offers a cup from which we all can drink.
With deep thanks from Japan.
Robert Yellin


Copyright 2001

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