Tea Scoop and Case

Takahashi Yoshio, Japanese, 1882 - 1937

Made in Japan, Asia

Taishō Period (1912-1926)

c. 1925


Scoop height: 6 7/8 inches (17.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the artist, 1928

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Tea scoops were often given poetic names; this one is named Ashiba (Reed Leaf), a reference to the reed leaf on which Bodhidharma, the sixth-century Indian mystic and founder of Zen Buddhism, crossed the sea to spread the doctrine. Similar to the reed leaf, Sunkaraku, the teahouse that came to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from Japan in 1928 (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928-114-1), is considered a vehicle that carries the “Way of Tea” to the American people. This tea scoop was made by the tea connoisseur Takahashi Yoshio (also known by his tea name Soan) for the final ceremony at the Sunkaraku teahouse in Japan.