Sinitsyn A. An Emaki Scroll from the MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS Collections as a Visual Source on the Late Edo Period Tea Ceremony

A. Sinitsyn
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)
Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0001-7392-1837


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ABSTRACT. The purpose of this article is to consider one of the most intriguing pieces in the Japanese collection of the MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS, i. e. the horizontal (emaki) scroll acquired by Tsesarevich N. A. Romanov during his visit to Japan in 1891. The scroll contains a compilation of specific visual materials on the tea ceremony tradition of the late Edo period (midnineteenth century). It is difficult to overestimate the role of the tea ceremony in the popularization and promotion of traditional Japanese cultural values and manifestation of their ethnic specifics. Since mid–twentieth century the tea ceremony has become one of the most prominent “national cultural brands” of Japan, and today one can find world-wide many tea centers and dozens (if not hundreds) of thousands of fans of “The Way of Tea”, whose number is constantly increasing. However, at the time of the acquisition of this scroll, the Japanese “Tea Culture” was little known in Russia and was actually outside the scope of academic research. The scroll depicts some of the key stages of the tea ceremony as well as the practical use of its most important accessories through the eyes of immediate participants. The scroll, a masterpiece by the famous late Edo period artist Kamiya Seishin 神谷晴真 (Kanō Seisen-in Osanobu 狩野晴川院養信), should be viewed also as an important cultural heritage item and one of the earliest visual sources dedicated to the visualization of the Japanese Tea Culture in Russian museum collections.


KEYWORDS: emaki scroll, painting, tea ceremony, visual source, ethnicity, Japan, Edo period, Kamiya Seishin, Kanō Osanobu


DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2021-1(11)-180-204
УДК 392.86+7.011



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