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Cross-posted from hetachallenge

Title: Wabi-sabi
Characters: Greece, Japan
Challenge: Holiday Winter Challenge - 31 Fics in 31 Days (Unused)
Rating: G
Summary: Greece and Japan talk about beauty, while making some pottery…
Author’s note: This was a lot harder to write than I thought. I don’t normally write Greece and Japan, and I was asked not to include cats, thereby killing the idea to write about kitty litter. ^^; Thanks to my beta, Jen, for looking this over for me.
Word Count: 707

For azurecerulean …


Greece watched as Japan took the unused portion of clay, wrapping it in a damp towel and putting it away. Japan took the clay and wedged it, getting it ready to throw on the wheel. When it was ready, Japan took the clay over to the potter’s wheel. Once he had it spinning, he threw the lump of clay on it. Centering it worked the clay with his hands and Greece continued to watch, fascinated by the whole process. He drew the clay upwards into a cylinder until it was the perfect height for a tea cup. Japan worked the clay, smoothing the edges with a sponge and drawing the water out of the clay with it. When he was finished, he carefully removed the cup and set it to dry to a leathery finish.

“Would you like to try?” Japan asked.

“Sure… Although, I don’t know if I’d be as good as you are, my friend,” Greece replied.

“Then you will probably make a better teacup than I will.”

“If you say so…”

“I do.” Japan got another chuck of clay and slowly went through the steps, assisting Greece whenever he needed it. They sat together at the potter’s wheel and after more failure than Greece cared to remember, he was able to make a small, but in his eyes, imperfect cup. “It’s beautiful, Karpusi-san!” Japan said as he set it next to dry by the one he made.

“You’re just saying that.”

“No I mean it. Look,” he said as he tweaked the rim of his cup. “Now it’s as pretty as yours.”

Greece was shocked to hear that. “But…?”

“The beauty of your cup was in its natural imperfection. My cup will never be as beautiful, because I had to make an adjustment on mine.”

“Oh…” Greece said, although he found it difficult to understand. “But I thought it was much more beautiful than mine, simply because of its perfection.”

“It’s not because of the concept of wabi-sabi, of imperfection, impermanence and incompletion…” Japan explained. “It is a hard concept to grasp by Westerners and I sadly fail at explaining it to you. Forgive me.”

“It’s alright, Mr. Honda,” Greece said. “I think I understand what you mean now, although, to the ‘West’ the concept of beauty lies more in its perfection and of it being in its ‘hour.” So that a piece of ripe fruit can be beautiful, because it’s ripe, or a young boy can be beautiful, simply because he’s young, just like an old man can be beautiful because he’s old.”

Japan nodded.

“But a young girl trying to look older and an old woman trying to look younger, are ugly simply because they aren’t of their hour… if that makes any sense.”

“It does.” Japan smiled.

“So, how long before we can fire it?” Greece looked at their tea cups.

Japan carefully draped a sheet of plastic over the two teas cups. “I’d say a day, two at the most. Then we can fire and glaze them.”

“Good. I’m looking forward to that. Would it be alright if I glazed it the colors of my home?”

“Of course it would,” Japan said.

Several days later they sat in Japan’s garden, sipping tea from the teacups they had made, while Japan tried to explain what the tea ceremony was all about. Greece listened intently, they way he did whenever Japan spoke. That led to Greece telling him about ravani, a sweet little cake that would complement the taste of the tea, with Greece promising Japan, to show him how to make them.

All too soon they finished their tea and as they got up to bring everything inside, Greece said, “Would you like my cup, Japan? You like it a lot and all…”

“Very much so, but please, take my cup in return.”

“Will do,” Greece said with a smile as they washed the cup and Japan’s teapot. “And I would love it, if you came to visit me some time.”

“I would love to come visit you, thank you, Karpusi-san, for inviting me.”

“You’re welcome, my friend,” Greece said. As they headed towards the living room, they made plans for Japan’s visit whole they settled in to watch some anime…

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
azurecerulean
Jan. 6th, 2013 10:41 am (UTC)
ASDFGHJKL I could die happy from the fluffiness as well as the cultural bits of this fic.

I actually don't mind if you include cats in the background, as long as they aren't the main theme. Sorry for not clarifying this. But the pottery theme is perfect. ♥
kiramaru7
Jan. 6th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
Awe... *huggles* Don't die! Seriously, I'm so glad you like it! :D


Oh! XD Well, it's probably better I misunderstood as this might have turned into a fic about kitty litter & "digging for buried treasure." XD I'm glad it worked the way it did too. <3
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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