June 17, 2023

A collection of tea bowls used in the Japanese tea ceremony is now on display at the Colbern Road Branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library. This group of mainly ceramic tea bowls with a few other tea ceremony utensils is the collection of Dean Olson, a long time Lee’s Summit resident. Olson is a student and teacher in the Urasenke tea tradition. The Urasenke Foundation, based in Kyoto, is one of the three tea schools which have a direct lineage to the tea master, Sen Rikyu (1522-1591). Olson was first attracted to Japanese art and design in high school. He began collecting tea bowls while attending the Kansas City Art Institute. Much later, he witnessed his first tea ceremony and began studying the tea procedures. Now, he has practiced this tradition for over 25 years. He continues practicing tea with other students and his tea instructor in Lawrence, Kansas a couple of times per month.

This collection will be on display until June 20th at the Mid-Continent Public Library Colbern Road Branch located at 1000 NE Colbern Road in Lee’s Summit.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a social gathering with deep cultural influences. It has a prescribed way of preparing, serving, and enjoying a bowl of tea. The tea ceremony is also called, “Chado” or “The Way of Tea”. It incorporates a knowledge of and appreciation for a wide variety of traditional Japanese arts including: ceramics, calligraphy, painting, architecture, gardening, flower arranging, cooking, lacquerware, poetry, and carving.