Written on the Clouds: Poetic Names in Chanoyu (78579)

Session Information: Comparative Literature Studies
Session Chair: Alexandre Avdulov

Monday, 27 May 2024 10:30
Session: Session 1
Room: Room D (Live-Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Object reverence has always been an important part of Japanese culture throughout the centuries. Mono or objects in a traditional Japanese society were viewed in a cosmocentic perspective, therefore the world of objects has been mythologized and poeticized. Though inanimate by nature, objects may be treated as if they are alive, even sacred, and they can be given poetic names. The world of tea created the perfect environment for mono providing the stage for the objects to perform. Chanoyu, commonly known as the Japanese tea ceremony, is an interdisciplinary complex, a synthesis of arts, crafts and multiple cultural elements brought together in the ritual of preparing, making and sharing a bowl of tea. Tea epitomizes the Japanese penchant for elevating seemingly ordinary objects to the level of art. Their participation in a tea gathering is of supreme importance as the utensils are communicating with people in a non-verbal way. Often, they are given poetic names and their lineages are documented. These names – “poetic names” – play the central role in crafting of the narrative of a tea gathering – tea performance. They bridge non-verbal and verbal elements and give a voice to otherwise silent objects. Based on the study and the analysis of the official records of the tea gatherings, I will identify the role the poetic names play in the Chanoyu narrative, provide classification of the poetic names, and determine the criteria for the selection of objects based on their names.

Alexandre Avdulov, Saint Mary's University, Canada

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Alexandre Avdulov is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Saint Mary's University in Canada

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00