Thursday, April 17, 2008

Image of a Ruson-tsubo

I found this image of a ruson-tsubo, an earthenware jar from Luzon used in Japan for aging tea leaves, on Kenichi Tsunoda blog "Ken's Green Tea Salon."

Click on image for full-size version

The jar was imported in the 16th century and is made of lightweight, low density clay. The porous clay "breathes" making it ideal for tea leaf fermentation. Traditionally leaves were picked in the spring and aged until about November.

European observers in the 16th century noted that it was the 'homely' earthenware jars that were most valued often commanding outrageous prices. Luzon jars became popular in the Muromachi Period, and at least one source claims they were imported as early as Sung Dynasty times. Some of these jars were considered magical and animate in the Philippines and neighboring Borneo.

Paul Kekai Manansala