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Do Japanese People Like Imported Goods?

Among the most admired tea utensils is a group that Japanese people have called Karamono. ‘Kara’ is a word of Japanese origin, and can be written with either of two Chinese characters, both of which originally referred to parts of the Asian mainland.

Thus, it is thought that ‘Kara’ originally signified foreign countries. Japan is an island nation and Japanese people have long respected imported things — ceramics, porcelains and fabrics — that came over the sea.

These imported goods came to be called ‘Karamono’ during the 9th and 10th centuries. Many historic tea utensils were imported from China, and Japanese people called them ‘Karamono’ and admired them as important treasures.

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