Friday, October 14, 2011


Though somewhat less than a dinner and a movie, maybe more like an M&M and a teaser, this short clip is an interesting portrayal of an early 17th century potter at work from the classic movie; MIYAMOTO MUSHASHI SHOWDOWN AT HANNYAZAKA. There were five movie serializations from 1961 to 1965 staring Kinnosuke Nakamura based on the novel by Yoshikawa Eiji (1935). In this series there is also a wonderful glimpse into the relationship between Musashi and Honami Koetsu, sword connoisseur, master potter and arbiter of taste. At one point in the series, Honami Koetsu is showing a commissioned Aka-Raku chawan to the steward of the Hosokawa daimyo, complete with its wood storage box. The devil is certainly in the details in great old films.

In this short scene a potter is at work on the outskirts of the Kiyomizu-dera, an area known for its pottery production to this day. Musashi is known to have taken every opportunity to study master artists and craftsman at work and is shown studying the potters movements, no doubt in an effort to make use of the potters art in his own art, the way of the sword. It is worth a watch as is the entire series of films.

“Study the way of all professions.” From the BOOK OF FIVE RINGS (GO RIN NO SHO) by Miyamoto Musashi

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