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Tearoom at the Asian Art Museum

Teahouse at the Asian Art Museum

The tearoom at the Asian Art Museum (Photo by Kaz Tsuruta). Gift of Masako Martha Suzuki.

The Preparation Area (mizuya) in the Asian Art Museum Teahouse

The preparation area (mizuya) in the Asian Art Museum's teahouse (Photo by Deborah Clearwaters).

Teahouse at the Asian Art Museum
The Preparation Area (mizuya) in the Asian Art Museum Teahouse

The Asian Art Museum’s teahouse was designed by architect Osamu Sato as a functioning teahouse, as well as a display case. It is a three and three-quarters (sanjo daime) mat room. It is complete with an alcove for the display of a scroll and flowers, an electric-powered sunken hearth used in winter for the hot water kettle, and a functioning preparation area (mizuya) with fresh running water and drain. Its three interior ceiling levels display three different ceiling treatments.  The teahouse has a sliding glass front that opens fully when in use for live tea demonstrations, but secures the space as a display case when not in use. It was constructed in Kyoto by the distinguished firm Nakamura Sotoji Komuten, long famous for refined traditional Japanese architecture built by specially trained, artisan carpenters and craftsmen. In September 2002, the teahouse was installed in the museum’s second-floor collections gallery devoted to Japanese art. Four carpenters came from Kyoto to construct the teahouse and apply the final wall finishes.

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