I taught English to a group of elderly ladies, twice a month, for over 10 years. For them it was a hobby and diversion and to be perfectly honest I'm not sure the needle of their English ability moved very much in all that time. Conversely, I probably learned more about Japanese culture, language, and history from them than from any other source in all my time in Japan. This vase, one of the most sublimely beautiful objects not in a museum that I have ever laid eyes on, belonged to one of them. This photo -- taken with my Contax G1 if I remember correctly -- barely does justice to it.