Masterworks of Japanese Tea Culture: online lecture series

This virtual lecture series will explore the aesthetic of wabi, one of the defining characteristics of the major streams of Japanese tea tradition, from the vantage point of the material culture of tea in Japan.

Each of the six 75-minute talks will focus on one famous tea object and the stories surrounding it as an entry point for thinking about the broader development of wabicha -- the humble style that is associated with the most common forms of tea practice in Japan today.

Lectures will include slides and photographs providing context for the topic of the day and will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

This series is intended for anyone interested in traditional Japanese arts, aesthetics, ceramics, history, visual culture, and more. All sessions are held in English only. No prior knowledge of tea ceremony is necessary.

1 session $10; all 6 sessions $55. NNMCC members 20% off; contact cnakagawa[at] for the discount code.

To purchase an access pass for viewing recordings of these past lectures, please contact maiko[at]

About the presenter

Maiko Sōka Behr has worked as a translator, curator, and consultant in the field of Japanese art for more than twenty years since completing graduate studies in classical Japanese literature and visual culture at UBC. She is also a certified instructor in Japanese tea tradition and currently manages SaBi Tea Arts, a space for experiencing and learning about Japanese tea practice and related arts in Vancouver. See more at and .



See below for each session's focus.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 7:00-8:30 pm

Ceramic tea caddy known as "Tsukumo nasu"

Sunday, Sept. 20, 1:00-2:30 pm

Iron kettle of the Shinnari type with hailstone pattern used by Sen no Rikyū

Thursday, Oct. 8, 7:00-8:30 pm

Raku ware tea bowl known as "Ōguro" by Chōjirō

Sunday, Oct. 18, 1:00-2:30 pm

Bamboo flower vase known as "Onjōji" by Sen no Rikyū

Thursday, Nov. 12, 7:00-8:30 pm

Bamboo tea scoop known as "Namida" by Sen no Rikyū

Sunday, Nov. 22, 1:00-2:30 pm

Iga ware cold water jar known as "Yaburebukuro" preferred by Furuta Oribe