Celadon tea bowl
Koryo dynasty, early 12th century AD
The lotus, on the incised design on the interior of this bowl, is a Buddhist symbol of purity, a reminder of Buddhism's strong influence on the development of celadons in the Koryo dynasty (AD 918-1392). Tea drinking became a popular activity during the late Unified Silla dynasty (AD 668-935) and early Koryo dynasty, due to the influence of Son Buddhism, which spread from Buddhist monks to the population in general. Son Buddhism strongly emphasized meditation through tea drinking, and according to the Chinese connoisseur Lu Yu, in his Chajing ('Classic of Tea') of AD 760, tea tasted better from a green-glazed tea bowl than from a white porcelain bowl.
J. Portal, Korea - art and archaeology (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)