The Vocabvlario as Insight: The Portuguese and Tea at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century

Andrew M. Watsky | Princeton University

dia 29 de Outubro, 16h – 18h

Sala multiusos 2, edifício I&D / NOVA FCSH, piso 4

Entrada livre

Tea-leaf storage jar, named Chigusa Tea-leaf storage jar (chatsubo)

Chigusa and the Art of Tea, 2014

From its inception in the fifteenth century through the present day, chanoyu—the tea ceremony—has been a dynamic creative pursuit in Japan, combining performative activity and object-centered display. This lecture will consider the period from the turn of sixteenth into the seventeenth century, a high point in chanoyu invention, and will focus on the rich trove of information about chanoyu and its aesthetic ideas contained in the Vocabvlario da Lingoa da Iapam, a Portuguese dictionary of the Japanese language published in 1603 (augmented by a Supplement in 1604) by the Jesuits then in Japan. Although the Vocabvlario is not always perfectly accurate, it is most often enlightening, and provides critical knowledge about ideas that were central to chanoyu. Anyone concerned with chanoyu, or indeed premodern Japan, must consult the Vocabvlario for its insights.


Andrew Watsky

Andrew WatskyAndrew M. Watsky is professor of Japanese art history at Princeton University and his research focuses primarily on the sixteenth century. His current work concerns chanoyu, the Japanese practice of drinking tea and appreciating the diverse objects employed in its consumption. He recently completed a series of collaborative projects on the tea leaf storage jar named Chigusa, and is now working on a book about tea objects recorded in the 1588 treatise, The Records of Yamanoue no Sōji. His book Chikubushima: Deploying the Sacred Arts in Momoyama Japan (University of Washington Press, 2004) won both the Shimada Prize and the John Whitney Hall Book Prize.