[KS] rice images on Korean ceramics

Reinschmidt, Michael mreinschmidt at csuchico.edu
Wed Apr 24 19:23:51 EDT 2002

Dear List Members,
is there anyone out there (best would be curators and art historians), who
has any idea why there seems to be a total ABSENCE of rice motifs on Korean
ceramics (incl. celadons, onggis, fine wares) of all(?) of Korea's historic
periods. Artists depict all kinds of things but never rice nor any
references to rice, rice paddies, or harvest celebrations. Of course, there
are countless idiomatic references to rice in Hangul with many indications
of the importance of rice in Korean life (and even death).
I do suspect a cultural taboo, perhaps because of the enormous "life force"
believed to be contained in rice, but haven't been able to figure out where
such a taboo would have to come from. Why this important omission, why the
taboo, why is there no indication through the literature or oral
traditions. Or is there?
Your comments and the passing on of the problem to pertinent sources will
be greatly appreciated.
Mike Reinschmidt

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