Choe publishes book on Korean tea culture
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Ceramic artist Choe Chong-kan has published “The Transmission of Korean Tea Culture to Japan.”
The book is a history of Korean tea culture and discusses the beginnings of the tea ceremony in Japan.
According to Choe, a monk called Musangseonsa from the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-935 A.D.) created the Zen tea ceremony, considered an important part of Zen practice, while in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-906).
The author goes on to say that later in the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), Kim Si-seup developed it as the Choam tea ceremony, which was introduced to Japan in the 15th century and influenced the start of the Japanese tea culture.
“That is why tea bowls produced in the southern region of Korea during the 16th century often appear in the Wavi Tea Society of Japan,” he said in the book. “I have thus elucidated a new diffusion and a major communication route of Korean tea culture towards Japan.”
The first part of the book describes the origin and development of Korean tea culture and continues to the diffusion of the Korean tea culture to East Asia. It presents a new perspective on the history of Korean tea culture based on exchanges between China and Japan. He also explains the origin of “Ito Chawan,” which influenced Japanese tea culture in the 16th century.
Known as a prominent potter and expert in tea, Choe is a son of archaeologist Choe Nam-ju who excavated the “Sobong Tomb Golden Crown” of ancient Silla and learned Korean art history from him. He majored in the history of exchanges between Korea and Japan in terms of pottery.
He is currently based in Hadong, South Gyeongsang Province, near Mt. Jiri and runs Hyunam Cereamics Research Institute.
A publication party and opening ceremony of the Korean Traditional Ceramics Exhibition will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in southern Seoul, today. Kim Doo-kwan, governor of South Gyeongsang Province and Lee Jong-wook, president of Sogang University, are expected to attend.