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Gender History Workshop - Crafting Identity as a Tea Practitioner in Early Modern Japan: Ôtagaki Rengetsu and Tagami Kikusha

Rebecca Corbett, Postdoctoral Fellow in Japanese Studies, Center for East Asian Studies

Please RSVP to Shari Haun ( for lunch and note any dietary restrictions.

This research examines the lives and works of two female tea (chanoyu)
practitioners in early modern Japan, Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826) and Ōtagaki
Rengetsu (1791-1875). These two women shared much in common, both became
Buddhist nuns after the death of a husband and both were well known poets.
Both women were also tea practitioners who crafted their own utensils,
including tea-scoops (chashaku) with accompanying boxes onto which they
inscribed their poetry. An examination of these women's tea practice
requires us to re-think the standard representation of women’s practice of
tea as only a means of learning comportment and social graces. It is part of
a current re-thinking of the role of women in cultural production in early
modern Japan, across all areas from education to art.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 | 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm
Main Quad

Department of History