The exact history of basins in Japan is not clear. The oldest extant basin is found in the Joruri-ji temple in Kyoto, with an engraving from 1269. However, the tradition of cleaning one’s hands in a basin before entering a temple has existed for much longer.
In the beginning of their creation, basins were carved exclusively for temples and shrines. Over time, their structure was adopted into the secular world, coinciding with the adoption of stone lanterns into lay gardens. As the Way of Tea spread in the Edo Period (1603-1868), their was a surge for demand for basins as they quickly developed into an integral facet of tea events.
Japanese basins crafted with the ultimate aesthetic refinement treat the simple act of cleaning with pious grace. As a result, they have blossomed into a spectacular art form. This piece looks stunning both inside or outside, especially when set against a contemporary landscape design.