Karamono (唐物)

Karamono elegantly refers to Chinese products which were esteemed from medieval times to recent times. In a narrow sense, it sometimes refers to the art products during the Sung (dynasty), the Yuan (dynasty) and the Ming periods. In this case, 'kara' broadly refers to China and does not mean that the products were made during the Tang period. In some cases the imported articles whose production regions are not known are called karamono.

During the Muromachi period, it was authorized with the formalization of shitsurai (putting decorations suitable for a season or ritual onto an appropriate indoor place) in shoin (reception room). In Ashikaga Shogun Family, doboshu (the shogun's attendants in charge of entertainment) such as the parent and child of Noami, Geiami, and Soami selected the excellent items as connoisseurs of karamono. They, san-ami (three-ami) for three generations, edited "Kundaikan Sochoki" (catalogue of the shogunal collection with display instructions) in which the set of values of karamono in such a shitsurai was described.

As for the painting, especially the ones during the Sung period are respected. In addition to the painters in the art institution such as Emperor Huizong, Ma Yuan and Li Di, it is important that the excellent works by an art monk Muqi were preferred in Japan.

The works of tea utensils representatively include chaire (tea container), tenmoku tea bowls, celadon flower vase and so on.

[Original Japanese]