Inspiration drawn from nature

Maybe just because he lived in Hakone Mountains the craftsman had innumerable sources of inspiration. Disregarding nature would do no justice to neither our object nor its creator. It is certain that the craftsman has a deep and special relation to the raw material and its adequate processing. Probably he leaves his workshop to walk around, seeking new inspiration. He might look around himself to imbibe from the richest, most versatile source of inspiration altogether, nature! Of course it goes beyond the scope of this paper to respect Japanese flora on the whole. Yet, one plant in particular shows noticeable resemblance in form, the aquatic plant lotus[4] (see: web resources).

Important in Western as well as Asian mythology, in Japan lotus is commonly associated with the Lotus Sutra, the primary text in Tendai Buddhism.

The flower of the plant, but even more the seed vessel, are figured similar to our goblet. The stem merges into the hemispherical seed vessel with its clear-cut edges on the upper side. In ancient Egypt, the seed vessel was apparently transferred to a drinking vessel, and the shape adopted for drinking and offering vessels, made of suitable materials (see Wiki 2). It is not farfetched to imagine, that our craftsman, just as others before him, finds pleasure in the lotus seeds vessel’s shape and employs it for one of his objects. But Hakone region is not only famous for its exuberant nature.


Next: Inspiration and objects of comparison from Japan



[4] family Nelumbonaceae


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