Sometimes you don’t have to go thousands of miles to be transported to another time and place, as proven by my recent trip to the Asian Art Museum to see the exhibit of Larry Ellison’s Japanese art. For me, visiting a museum is not just a visual experience, it’s a visceral one that engages my imagination and senses. This trip was even more meaningful to me because I had studied many of the pieces while I dreamed of creating TATCHA, including the gold-leaf of the screens that served as inspiration for the first product TATCHA created – the gold-flecked blotting papers (and are still our best seller!)

Aside from the splendor of the selected works, which are exceptional in every detail, I was also touched by Ellison’s introductory essay in the accompanying catalog. Explaining how his lifelong passion for Japanese art was sparked by his first visit to Kyoto’s temple gardens, he writes, “I was stunned by the fact that I felt more at home there – more comfortable and more at home – than any place I had been in my life.”

That was my experience in Kyoto as well, when I first began the magical journey of discovery that planted the seed for TATCHA.

Just like Ellison, I was awed by the dedication to perfection and artistry apparent everywhere I looked, from the temples to the geishas who spend hours learning about music and dance and traditional arts (as well as their meticulous grooming and beauty rituals!).

As I walked through the exhibit, it reaffirmed my commitment to this philosophy by incorporating it into every aspect of TATCHA’s DNA.

We refer to this on the web site as “ichi-go, ichi-e,” which means "just this one moment, or, once in a lifetime" – a reminder of how important awareness and authenticity are to appreciating our experiences and surroundings. 

By the time I left, I was thrilled to have even more ideas for future projects and felt almost as if I had spent an afternoon in Kyoto. Who knows what inspiration may strike you in the “moments” you spend with this incredible collection. (The exhibit runs through Sept. 22, more information can be found here.)


Learn more about our skin care ritual 

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published August 2013

Travel, Kyoto
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Photo 1: A six-panel screen titled Maize and Coxcomb, from the 18th century. Photography by Octopus Holdings / Courtesy of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

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