Japanese Ceramic Quotes

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When you break something, is your first impulse to throw it away? Or do you repair it but feel a sadness because it is no longer "perfect"? Whatever the case, you might want to consider the way the Japanese treated the items used in their tea ceremony. Even though they were made from the simplest materials... these teacups and bowls were revered for their plain lines and spiritual qualities. There were treated with the utmost care, integrity and respect. For this reason, a cup from the tea ceremony was almost never broken. When an accident did occur and a cup was broken, there were certain instances in which the cup was repaired with gold. Rather than trying to restore it in a what they would cover the gace that it ahad been broken, the cracks were celebrated in a bold and spirited way. The thin paths of shining gold completely encircled the ceramic cup, announcing to the world that the cup was broken and repaired and vulnerable to change. And in this way, its value was even further enhanced.
Gary Thorp (Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks)
In Japanese pottery, there’s an artful form of repair called kintsugi. When a piece of ceramic pottery breaks, rather than trying to restore it to its original condition, the artisan accentuates the fault by using gold to fill the crack. This beautifully draws attention to where the work was broken, creating a golden vein. Instead of the flaw diminishing the work, it becomes a focal point, an area of both physical and aesthetic strength. The scar also tells the story of the piece, chronicling its past experience.
Rick Rubin (The Creative Act: A Way of Being)
The art department proper I thought much inferior to that of the Tokyo Exhibition of 1890. Fine things there were, but few. Evidence, perhaps, of the eagerness with which the nation is turning all its energies and talents in directions where money is to be made; for in those larger departments where art is combined with industry,—such as ceramics, enamels, inlaid work, embroideries,—no finer and costlier work could ever have been shown. Indeed, the high value of certain articles on display suggested a reply to a Japanese friend who observed, thoughtfully, "If China adopts Western industrial methods, she will be able to underbid us in all the markets of the world." "Perhaps in cheap production," I made answer. "But there is no reason why Japan should depend wholly upon cheapness of production. I think she may rely more securely upon her superiority in art and good taste. The art-genius of a people may have a special value against which all competition by cheap labor is vain. Among Western nations, France offers an example. Her wealth is not due to her ability to underbid her neighbors. Her goods are the dearest in the world: she deals in things of luxury and beauty. But they sell in all civilized countries because they are the best of their kind. Why should not Japan become the France of the Further East?
Lafcadio Hearn (Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life)
We start with a next-generation miso soup: Kyoto's famous sweet white miso whisked with dashi made from lobster shells, with large chunks of tender claw meat and wilted spinach bobbing on the soup's surface. The son takes a cube of topflight Wagyu off the grill, charred on the outside, rare in the center, and swaddles it with green onions and a scoop of melting sea urchin- a surf-and-turf to end all others. The father lays down a gorgeous ceramic plate with a poem painted on its surface. "From the sixteenth century," he tells us, then goes about constructing the dish with his son, piece by piece: First, a chunk of tilefish wrapped around a grilled matsutake mushroom stem. Then a thick triangle of grilled mushroom cap, plus another grilled stem the size of a D-sized battery, topped with mushroom miso. A pickled ginger shoot, a few tender soybeans, and the crowning touch, the tilefish skin, separated from its body and fried into a ripple wave of crunch. The rice course arrives in a small bamboo steamer. The young chef works quickly. He slices curtains of tuna belly from a massive, fat-streaked block, dips it briefly in house-made soy sauce, then lays it on the rice. Over the top he spoons a sauce of seaweed and crushed sesame seeds just as the tuna fat begins to melt into the grains below. A round of tempura comes next: a harvest moon of creamy pumpkin, a gold nugget of blowfish capped with a translucent daikon sauce, and finally a soft, custardy chunk of salmon liver, intensely fatty with a bitter edge, a flavor that I've never tasted before. The last savory course comes in a large ice block carved into the shape of a bowl. Inside, a nest of soba noodles tinted green with powdered matcha floating in a dashi charged with citrus and topped with a false quail egg, the white fashioned from grated daikon.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
When someone—whether an artist, an engineer, or a chef—sets out to create something, his or her responsibility is to use nature to give it “life” while respecting that nature at every moment. During this process, the artisan becomes one with the object and flows with it. An ironworker would say that metal has a life of its own, just as someone making ceramics would say that the clay does. The Japanese are skilled at bringing nature and technology together: not man versus nature, but rather a union of the two.
Héctor García (Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life)
OMOISHI: Literally “heavy rocks”: any heavy objects used as weights for fermenting and preserving. Typically garden rocks or river stones were used in Japan, though nowadays ceramic or plastic-covered iron weights can be purchased at home centers. I prefer rocks because there is an art to piling them on and this is one more instance where experience brings improvement. FOR
Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen)
SURIBACHI: A grooved ceramic bowl used for grinding seeds, nuts, or tofu. You can substitute a coffee or nut grinder for the seeds, a miniprep for the nuts, and a food processor for the tofu; however, the suribachi is the most satisfying way to grind these and any foods. But do not bother with a small suribachi since the seeds will jump out and make a mess. If you decide to take the plunge, get the biggest one you can find. Sold at Japanese grocery stores, Korin (see Resources), or Amazon. SURIKOGI
Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen)
Tolerance for copying and IPR theft is a tactic commonly used by technologically backward nations to catch up on the technological frontier. The development of the European porcelain industry in the early eighteenth century depended substantially on reports by Jesuit missionaries on Chinese ceramic techniques, which the Chinese state considered trade secrets. Theft of tea plants whose export was prohibited by China enabled the British to establish a tea industry in India. In the early nineteenth century, the United States was cavalier in its treatment of European intellectual property, and its first great textile complex in Lowell, Massachusetts, was founded essentially on industrial espionage.20 After World War II, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan relied in part on reverse engineering and copying of Western technologies, in violation of Western patent rules. Before China became the main target, the US government engaged in constant IPR skirmishes with Japanese and Taiwanese firms. The point is not that IPR violations are morally defensible, but simply that they are routine and last until a country has enough IPR of its own to decide that protection produces more benefit than stealing. This shift occurred in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century and in the East Asian states in the 1980s and 1990s. It has begun in China with the establishment of specialized IPR courts and the use of criminal penalties for some violations.
Arthur R. Kroeber (China's Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know)
An indigo bottle is placed in front of us. "First rule of sake." Yoshi picks up the flask and one of the matching ceramic cups. "Never pour for yourself." He pours a shot for Taka and me. I reciprocate, pouring one for Yoshi. We hold the cups close to our faces and sniff. Sweet notes rise up and we toast. "Kanpai!" Then we sip. The rice wine goes down cold but warms my belly. A few more sips and my limbs are warm, too. Scallops and yellowtail sashimi are served. We sip more sake. By the time the yakitori arrives, our bottle is empty and my cheeks are hot. The group of salarymen have grown rowdy, their ties loosened. Yoshi winks at the pink-haired girls and they collapse into a fit of giggles. My God, to have such power over the opposite sex. Gyoza is next. The fried pork dumplings dipped in chili oil burn my mouth but soak up some of the sake, and I sober a little, just in time for the group of salarymen to send us a round of shōchū, starchier than the sake but delicious all the same. We toast to them, to the bar, to the night, to Tokyo. My stomach is near bursting when the chef places agedashi---fried tofu---in front of us. Finally, Taka orders fermented squid guts. I don't try it, but I laugh as he slurps them up.
Emiko Jean (Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After, #1))
The Japanese Paleolithic period, also referred to as the Pre-ceramic era,
Enthralling History (Ancient Japan: An Enthralling Overview of Ancient Japanese History, Starting from the Jomon Period to the Heian Period (Asia))
Meet Lijia Zhang, the visionary founder of Konpoto, a haven for lovers of authentic Japanese ceramics. Inspired by a deep connection to the artistry of pottery, Lijia curates an exquisite collection sourced directly from Japan's renowned kilns. Her dedication to preserving tradition while embracing contemporary design shines through each meticulously crafted piece. With an unwavering commitment to quality, she invites individuals to experience the elegance and sophistication of Japanese tableware. Join Lijia and her passionate team at Konpoto on a journey that celebrates timeless craftsmanship and the beauty of cultural heritage.
Lijia Zhang
We began with two buttery sweet edamame and one sugar syrup-soaked shrimp in a crunchy soft shell. A lightly simmered baby octopus practically melted in our mouths, while a tiny cup of clear, lemony soup provided cooling refreshment. The soup held three slices of okra and several slippery cool strands of junsai (water shield), a luxury food that grows in ponds and marshes throughout Asia, Australia, West Africa, and North America. In the late spring the tiny plant develops leafy shoots surrounded by a gelatinous sheath that floats on the water's surface, enabling the Japanese to scoop it up by hand from small boats. The edamame, okra, and water shield represented items from the mountains, while the shrimp and octopus exemplified the ocean. I could tell John was intrigued and amused by this artistic (perhaps puny?) array of exotica. Two pearly pieces of sea bream, several fat triangles of tuna, and sweet shelled raw baby shrimp composed the sashimi course, which arrived on a pale turquoise dish about the size of a bread plate. It was the raw fish portion of the meal, similar to the mukozuke in a tea kaiseki. To counter the beefy richness of the tuna, we wrapped the triangles in pungent shiso leaves , then dunked them in soy. After the sashimi, the waitress brought out the mushimono (steamed dish). In a coal-black ceramic bowl sat an ivory potato dumpling suspended in a clear wiggly broth of dashi thickened with kudzu starch, freckled with glistening orange salmon roe. The steamed dumplings, reminiscent of a white peach, was all at once velvety, sweet, starchy, and feathery and had a center "pit" of ground chicken. The whole dish, served warm and with a little wooden spoon, embodied the young, tender softness of spring.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi (Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto)
The tour concluded with our buying the ingredients for shabu-shabu to enjoy that night with Tomiko and her husband. Sitting around the wooden table in Tomiko's kitchen, we drank frosty Kirin beers and munched on edamame, fresh steamed soybeans, nutty and sweet, that we pulled from their salt-flecked pods with our teeth. Then Tomiko set down a platter resplendent with gossamer slices of raw beef, shiitake mushrooms, cauliflower florets, and loamy-tasting chrysanthemum leaves to dip with long forks into a wide ceramic bowl of bubbling primary dashi. I speared a piece of sirloin. "Wave the beef through the broth," instructed Tomiko, "then listen." Everyone fell silent. As the hot dashi bubbled around the ribbon of meat, it really did sound as though it was whispering "shabu-shabu," hence the onomatopoeic name of the dish. I dipped the beef in a sauce of toasted ground sesame and soy and as I chewed, the rich roasted cream mingled with the salty meat juices. "Try this one," urged Tomiko, passing another sauce of soy and sesame oil sharpened with lemony yuzu, grated radish, and hot pepper flakes. I tested it on a puffy cube of warm tofu that Tomiko had retrieved from the dashi with a tiny golden wire basket. The pungent sauce invigorated the custardy bean curd.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi (Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto)
He's on to sashimi now, fanning and curling slices of snapper and fugu into white roses on his cutting board. Before Toshio can plate the slices, Shunichi reaches over and calmly replaces the serving plate his son has chosen with an Edo-era ceramic rectangle more to his liking. Three pieces of tempura- shrimp, eggplant, new onion- emerge hissing and golden from the black iron pot in the corner, and Toshio arranges them on small plates with wedges of Japanese lime. Before the tempura goes out, Shunichi sneaks in a few extra granules of salt while Toshio's not looking. By now Dad is shadowing his son's every move. As Toshio waves a thin plank of sea cucumber eggs over the charcoal fire, his dad leans gently over his shoulder. "Be careful. You don't want to cook it. You just want to release its aroma." Toshio places a fried silverfish spine on a craggy ceramic plate, tucks grated yuzu and sansho flowers into its ribs, then lays a sliver of the dried eggs over the top. The bones shatter like a potato chip, and the sea cucumber detonates in my mouth.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
I can tell right away by looking at you what you want to eat," he says. "I can tell how many brothers and sisters you have." After divining my favorite color (blue) and my astrological sign (Aquarius), Nakamura pulls out an ivory stalk of takenoko, fresh young bamboo ubiquitous in Japan during the spring. "This came in this morning from Kagumi. It's so sweet that you can eat it raw." He peels off the outer layer, cuts a thin slice, and passes it across the counter. First, he scores an inch-thick bamboo steak with a ferocious santoku blade. Then he sears it in a dry sauté pan until the flesh softens and the natural sugars form a dark crust on the surface. While the bamboo cooks, he places two sacks of shirako, cod milt, under the broiler. ("Milt," by the way, is a euphemism for sperm. Cod sperm is everywhere in Japan in the winter and early spring, and despite the challenges its name might create for some, it's one of the most delicious things you can eat.) Nakamura brings it all together on a Meiji-era ceramic plate: caramelized bamboo brushed with soy, broiled cod milt topped with miso made from foraged mountain vegetables, and, for good measure, two lightly boiled fava beans. An edible postcard of spring. I take a bite, drop my chopsticks, and look up to find Nakamura staring right at me. "See, I told you I know what you want to eat." The rest of the dinner unfolds in a similar fashion: a little counter banter, a little product display, then back to transform my tastes and his ingredients into a cohesive unit. The hits keep coming: a staggering plate of sashimi filled with charbroiled tuna, surgically scored squid, thick circles of scallop, and tiny white shrimp blanketed in sea urchin: a lesson in the power of perfect product. A sparkling crab dashi topped with yuzu flowers: a meditation on the power of restraint. Warm mochi infused with cherry blossoms and topped with a crispy plank of broiled eel: a seasonal invention so delicious it defies explanation.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)