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Tearoom at the Asian Art Museum

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A short documentary on the Japanese tearoom at the Asian Art Museum.

Suggested Class Discussion Questions:

  1. Who made the tearoom and where was it made?
    (Japanese carpenters made it in Japan. It was assembled in San Francisco)
  2. How was the tearoom built?
    (Using traditional Japanese joinery techniques, all natural materials)
  3. What materials were used?
    (Various woods—pine, cedar, bamboo, reed matting.)
  4. What did you notice about the people using the tearoom?
     (Discussion can lead into sitting on the floor, wearing kimono, bowing to each other etc.)
  5. How would it feel to be inside this room?
    (Note: this is not a miniature room but is full sized.)
  6. What do you notice about the room compared with your own house?
    (Discussion can lead into absence of furniture, simplicity)
  7. If this were your room, what essential things would be missing? Discuss what it would be like to follow a lifestyle where you lived without those things.
  8. Does the room look plain to you? Why?
  9. Discussion can lead into deliberate simplicity as a refuge from the outside world and to create an atmosphere for meditation, human interaction without reminders of status, etc.
    If you could design your own refuge, where would it be; what would it look like; what would you have inside?

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