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Boddhidarma and tea utensils, c 1690.

King, G

Boddhidarma and tea utensils, c 1690.
3 3 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm


Engraving by G King. According to legend the Buddhist patriarch Boddhidarma tore off his eyebrows in frustration at falling asleep during meditation, and the tea plant sprung up where they had fallen. Also shown are a tea bowl with handle (1 & 2), a tea caddy (3), scoop (4), whisk (5), kettle (6), and various boxes in which they are kept during travel (A-X). From 'The History of Japan' (1727) by Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716). Kaempfer was a German physician working at the Dutch trading post in Japan from 1690-1692. He asembled a large collection, including natural specimens, costumes, books, calendars, and maps. 'The History of Japan' records many aspects of Japan in the Genroku period (1688- 1704).

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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