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日本人は外国製品が好き?

茶道具の中で格の高いものに、「唐物」と呼ばれる一群があります。「から」という言葉は、「韓」と「唐」の両方の漢字に当てられているように、本来は外国を指す古代の日本語だったようです。島国である日本の人々は、古来より海をわたってきた輸入品、陶磁器や織物などを大切にしてきました。平安時代には、こうしたものを「唐物」と呼ぶようになります。茶道具の古いものも輸入品が多かったため、「唐物」の名で宝物化されました。

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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