Apr 12th 13 5:33 pm
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Official Rikyucha threat

by aktng2 » Apr 12th 13 5:33 pm

Hello,

For some times now, I was drooling at the rikyucha.com website. They offer sooo much selection at very moderate price. Some of their teawares could not be found anywhere else beside Japan itself. I would zettai, zettai, zettai not pay 2k for a trip to japan to buy 500$ teaware :? . I have done some research and found that there's only in this forum where I could find people that had bought from it. Mostly, I heard that it was unsafe. I want to know more about your experiences in dealing with them and why is it considered as unsafe (it would be better before I got my identity stolen.. :D ). Also, do the products they deliver match the ones in their pictures? Any past experience in dealing with rikyucha.com would be welcome. Thank you a lot!

Cordially,
aktng2

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by brandon » Apr 12th 13 5:38 pm

I bought ashes from them for a ro. I received them well packed and as described.

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by Chip » Apr 12th 13 5:46 pm

It is "unsafe" to shop there as it will quickly deplete your liquid assets (money used for tea, ya know).

I mean this in a figurative and complimentary kind of way, perhaps others have as well? What I mean is that they often have a lot of amazing wares ... and often lofty prices. And many seem pretty reasonably priced. But most of the offerings seem fairly priced, IMHO. I just could not afford many of the items I admire.

I have only purchased from them one time, no problems, quite a good experience. And I obtained wares I would possibly never find elsewhere.

I frequen the site online, but my cart quickly fills to the point of the national debt and I leave ... proclaiming, "I'll be baack."
:mrgreen:

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by tingjunkie » Apr 12th 13 5:48 pm

Purchased one chawan from them. Everything was great!

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by futurebird » Apr 12th 13 6:05 pm

Some of the stuff is quite nice... but this?

http://rikyucha.com/item/list2/66291/

just seems absurd... but, I think that's why I've always liked gong fu more than the Japanese tea ceremony... It can get a little extreme... isn't one of the concepts, wabi sabi about humility,unpretentiousness and simplicity?

How on earth can a $500 chashaku fit in to that philosophy? :roll:

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by teaisme » Apr 12th 13 6:41 pm

well to be fair humility and not being pretentious (underscored by fine workmanship) can be a style of art, some people value this style so are willing to pay for something made extremely well but understated at rough first glance

It's not just japanese tea cermeony wares that have high prices.

http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... cts_id=890

However, I wonder if that scoop is priced so high because it was made to look like Rikyu's Utushi's original. I can't seem to find mention of the modern artist.
futurebird wrote:just seems absurd
futurebird wrote:How on earth can a $500 chashaku fit in to that philosophy?
It would fit just fine. The chashaku did not set its own price. :mrgreen:

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by Poohblah » Apr 12th 13 7:19 pm

futurebird wrote:Some of the stuff is quite nice... but this?

http://rikyucha.com/item/list2/66291/

just seems absurd... but, I think that's why I've always liked gong fu more than the Japanese tea ceremony... It can get a little extreme... isn't one of the concepts, wabi sabi about humility,unpretentiousness and simplicity?

How on earth can a $500 chashaku fit in to that philosophy? :roll:
It's not about being pretentious. Japanese aesthetics are quite foreign to a Western mind. The Japanese often appreciate qualities in things that most Westerners don't pay attention to. This is why travelling to Japan, though Japan is very modernized, can be quite a culture shock.

So, though it might seem absurd to you... there are people out there who appreciate such a chataku, and who would value it highly. Though the reasons for this may be strange/unfamiliar/unknown to you, that does not mean it is pretentious to value it as such.

Also, the philosophy can flow both ways... if you find yourself wondering "how could a $500 chataku possibly be humble?" you may need to adopt some humility yourself ;)

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by tingjunkie » Apr 12th 13 7:42 pm

I'm no professional scholar of Rikyu and the Japanese tea ceremony, but I certainly see your point futurebird.

On one hand, the Japanese wabi aesthetic that Rikyu helped to define has been cultivated to the point where seemingly simple and humble items can be valued at very highly. On the other hand, this highly cultivated aesthetic is almost on the verge of becoming stale in my mind. I know I'm inviting flack for that comment, but here is my reasoning... From my understanding, Rikyu was great at finding the beauty inherent in special everyday items, such as Korean rice bowls in the case of the Ido style chawans. To keep that tradition alive, it makes more sense to me that each of us should go out and discover the beauty in special items around us too. Where is the art in purchasing a $500 tea scoop that someone else has deemed special? That doesn't require a refined appreciation for wabi aesthetic, it just requires having lots of available income. Sure, it has collector and impress-your-guests value, but if I went to carve my own scoop I think I'd have a more personal connection and appreciation for it.

But I digress... the rikyucha.com is pretty great. :D

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by futurebird » Apr 12th 13 7:50 pm

You, see acutaly, is that this is all too familiar, not "foreign" to my very much westren mind at all. I don't think it's that different that the $500 ripped tee shirt sold by Calvin Klein. (which is also absurd, would you agree?)

The value of the object is more about who created it and what it represents than what it is. And for some people, not all, it's just about the exclusivity.

But, it is certainly beautiful.

I don't deny that.

But, what would contradict western consumer values would be to recognize the beauty in something that is truly common and accessible-- yet simple functional and handmade. That was the whole point in the first place, by the time it's placed in the 3rd layer of "bako" I start to wonder... hype is not unique to the West.

And I agree, that in general there are a lot of things that are well worth the price since they are made by and artist (who needs to make money commensurate withe their time and skill) --it's a nice website.

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by AdamMY » Apr 12th 13 8:10 pm

I have several thoughts floating around in my head and I will try and make the most sense of them I can in relation to this.

It is no secret that I have a lot of teaware. While I have not spent $500 dollars on a Chashaku, looking at some of my favorite pieces, you really have a sense that you are getting to know the maker when handling these well crafted artisan pieces. Often when I get a new piece of hand made ceramics I really study the piece, look it over, touch it all over, see if my eyes and my hands can help tell me the story of how the piece was made. ( This is kind of reverse engineering of a ceramics piece). There is a nice charm in the pieces that really give you a hint at who the maker was and how he acted in forming the piece that other pieces do not have. All of my chinese teaware lacks this characteristic, but its beauty mostly lies in its near perfect shape form, and appearance. If teaware were people, the near perfect porcelain and yixing pots of china would be the beautiful people, and the hand made ceramics of Japan and Korea are the people with good personality/ character. You can have ones that meet both, or none, just like with people. Though I often prefer good character over pure beauty any day ( maybe that explains my teaware). Pehaps this Chashaku has a way to really show off the artists process so to speak, giving it extra character than those a machine spits out every few minutes.

Though on the other side of things theres always a certain premium market of sorts going on in all aspects of life. Should a baseball card sell for 2 million dollars? (Most people would say no.) But to paraphrase some economics, you can sell anything for what someone is willing to pay for it. A few years ago some store had a bottled iced tea that claimed to be made with some very very special japanese teas, that I think was selling for 1000 USD a bottle ( I think 750ml or 1 liter), in a very fancy bottle. I think the general teachat consensus was we could easily make very good tea, possibly even better tea ourselves at home for a lot less, but that doesn't mean that there isn't someone out there willing to buy that iced tea. I think the internet is an incredible tool for finding things that seem absurd, as to most people a 500 USD Chashaku seems absurd on the face of it, but perhaps if you saw it in person and got to handle it and inspect it, it could suddenly seem like a bargain, instead of outrageous.

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by futurebird » Apr 12th 13 8:19 pm

I see your points Adam. Most of my friends think I'm nuts for buying the kind of tea I like to drink.

"it's just dried leaves" right?

:wink:

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by yalokinh » Apr 12th 13 8:34 pm

I see this a lot in the music community.
as an example I'll use the trumpet. if you know anything about trumpet, you know that they are pretty cheap to come by. an average professional horn costs about $2k. I have a friend who owns a $10k trumpet, and even though I would never, ever, pay anything close to that for a horn, I can kind of appreciate it. but I wouldn't dare call it humble, (too extravagant and expensive to be humble).

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by rdl » Apr 12th 13 8:36 pm

tingjunkie wrote:I'm no professional scholar of Rikyu and the Japanese tea ceremony, but I certainly see your point futurebird.
On one hand, the Japanese wabi aesthetic that Rikyu helped to define has been cultivated to the point where seemingly simple and humble items can be valued at very highly. On the other hand, this highly cultivated aesthetic is almost on the verge of becoming stale in my mind. I know I'm inviting flack for that comment, but here is my reasoning... From my understanding, Rikyu was great at finding the beauty inherent in special everyday items, such as Korean rice bowls in the case of the Ido style chawans. To keep that tradition alive, it makes more sense to me that each of us should go out and discover the beauty in special items around us too. Where is the art in purchasing a $500 tea scoop that someone else has deemed special? That doesn't require a refined appreciation for wabi aesthetic, it just requires having lots of available income. Sure, it has collector and impress-your-guests value, but if I went to carve my own scoop I think I'd have a more personal connection and appreciation for it.

But I digress... the rikyucha.com is pretty great. :D
i understand your sentiments tingjunkie but i think your interest is in the revival of Rikyu's wabi aesthetic rather than following Rikyu's wabi aesthetic. there are those that will go as far as buying a $500 replica Chashaku so as to be Rikyu so to speak. and follow each step as he defined over time and never forsake the tradition. that's why these kinds of works are priceless. they possess his soul. others begin with the ideas he developed and go on their own path. that keeps things fresh and new. but your tea master will still throw you out of the temple if you don't toe the line ... lol
i agree with you, rikyucha is pretty great and safe to buy from on line.

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by futurebird » Apr 12th 13 8:59 pm

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/ ... tails.aspx

The $500 one is just a replica, above is the real article. It's an important irreplaceable historical artifact, hence the price, kind of sad it's in a private collection. I think it should be on display somewhere. And maybe even *used* every now and then (*gasp*) as a kind of honor for some person who did something very great ...

Tea things die when they live on a shelf.

</unsolicited input

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Re: Official Rikyucha threat

by yalokinh » Apr 12th 13 9:24 pm

I like to believe that everything made specifically for tea (pots, gaiwans, cups, the tea itself, etc...) is meant to be used.
To me there is no point in having a $1,000,000 pot if it isn't going to be used. (Unless its several hundred years old and a very important artifact).
The art is in its use.