An old friend, who lives afar from my home, came and saw me yesterday. He is much more elder than I, and very appreciated in the antique industry. He is expert on Momoyama and Edo Era writings and scrolls. We share a common taste on Japanese culture and arts. We discussed over an antique bowl that is used for drinking tea in Japan.
A well-known art dealer told me on the bowl that it came from South Korea in the early 17th century. I couldn't trust it on the opinion but for its origin, because I know its origin.
Actually, I brought it to an academic institute among Kyoto's experts on Korean arts for its expert opinion, last year. It took almost one year to reach its judgment.
My friend, who is very much learnt about Korean arts and their fakes made in Japan, seemed to be charmed with the pottery. I asked him if he loves it. His face is full of positive atmosphere in silence. I asked him on its origin. He affirmed its Korean origin without hesitation. Finally, I asked him on the period. He was very much confused on the face. He is right. That tea bowl has all the characters of both the late 16th and the early 17th century of Southern Korean pottery.
He showed his opinion step by step. First, this pottery is very light, but not huge like Japanese "Kara-tsu". It comes from South Korea. Second, it has a very thin on the width, and is soft on its touch. Its place of production must be in the very southern part of Korea. Finally, its glaze is very akin to the 16th century's pottery produced in Korea. His opinions are perfect. Sometimes we are very easy to be trapped by others' opinions before thinking by ourselves. You call it prejudice. In that case, you should listen to your own voice before you have learnt something.
You need to be honest to your voice; then, you can reach truth. It is always reliable a strategy for not only judgment of antiques but also of people around you.