茶の湯 in サンフランシスコ ・ Japanese Tea Ceremony を San Franciscoで

表千家四方社中の茶の湯ブログ Japanese Tea Ceremony Blog for Shikata Shachu – Omotesenke

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茶男の心・Heart of a Tea-man

宇治十帖記念碑・Uji Ju’ujo’u Memorial


利休が宇治の茶商人に招かれました。 [中略] (亭主である茶商人の点前中茶商人の)手が茶杓に当たり茶入から落ち、茶筅も倒れてしまいました。利休の弟子達はそれを見て商人の不器用さを笑いましが、利休は喜んで「これは今迄で最高の茶だ」と言いました。帰路にて弟子達は利休に何故あのような不器用さを称え、最高の茶だなどと言ったのか尋ねました。利休はそれに答えて言いました。茶商人は自分の技を見せびらかすために利休を招待したのではなく、単に真心をこめて利休に茶を差し上げたかったのです。彼は利休のために茶を点てることに全身を注ぎ、間違いを犯すことなど心配しなかったことに心を打たれたのです。

There is rather a famous episode involving Rikyu, which illustrates his approach to tea as a wabi tea-man.

Rikyu was once invited by a tea … merchant of Uji.  …  During [the tea preparation by the merchant/host], his hand hit the chashaku, making it fall from the top of the cha’ire, and causing the chasen to fall over as well.  While Rikyu’s followers laughed at the merchant’s ineptitude, Rikyu was pleased and said: ‘This is the best tea I ever experienced!’  On his way back home, the followers asked Rikyu why he praised such ineptness, saying that it was the best tea he had ever experienced.  Rikyu replied that this man did not invite him with the intention of showing off his skills.  ‘He simply wanted to serve me tea with his whole heart,’ Rikyu replied.  ‘He devoted himself completely to making tea for me, not worrying about making errors.  His sincerity impressed me.’

[Source] Herbert Plutschow, “Rediscovering Rikyu – And The Beginnings of The Japanese Tea Ceremony” (Global Oriental, pub. 2003)
[参考] ヘルベルト・プルチョウ著「利休の再発見: そして日本における茶の湯の始まり」(Global Oriental, 2003年刷)


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高山右近・Ukon Takayama

マニラの右近; Ukon in Manila

高山右近(彦五郎) Ukon (Hikogoro’u) Takayama(1552?-1615)


He is one of Rikyu’s 7 primary disciples – or Rikyu Shichitetsu.


His father, Tomoetsu Takayama, was one of the first da’imyo’u to welcome the Jesuit mission into his domain.  Ukon was baptized Justo in 1564.


In 1578, he sided with Nobunaga whom he knew as a supporter of Christianity.  When Nobunaga was assassinated, he sided with Hideyoshi in the battle of Yamazaki.  In 1585, he received a domain of Akashi (part of present-day Hyogo Prefecture), but was dispossessed 2 years later as a result of Hideyoshi’s anti-Christian edict.  Hideyoshi allegedly sent Rikyu to try to have Ukon recant, but Rikyu was not successful.


Due to Ieyasu’s prohibition of Christianity, Ukon was banished from Japan in 1614.  He died in Manila on 5 February 1615.

[Source] Herbert Plutschow, “Rediscovering Rikyu – And The Beginnings of The Japanese Tea Ceremony” (Global Oriental, pub. 2003)
[参考] ヘルベルト・プルチョウ著「利休の再発見: そして日本における茶の湯の始まり」(Global Oriental, 2003年刷)


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It has been a little while.  Before the ro season ended, we did a shozumi (initial charcoal setup) practice with a sukigigama.  Weused the ko’ugo’u pictured below.

京焼の赤楽で島荷平さんのお作です。 龍安寺の蹲踞に刻まれている「吾唯足知」(吾れ唯足ることを知る)(われただたることをしる)を形取っています。龍安寺のウェブページによれば:

It is a piece by Kahei Shima in aka raku (red raku) from Kyoto.  It is in the shape of a tsukubai (font) at Ryo’uan-ji temple.  It has an inscription that reads: ware-tada-tarukotowo-shiru.  According to the temple’s webpage


This is the essence of Buddhist teaching, and illustrates the heart of chisoku (知足), which Shaka has taught as: “Those who know when to be satisfied are rich even if poor.  Those who do not know when to be satisfied are poor even if rich.”  It also relates to the spirit of tea.  The font is thought to be a gift from Mitsukuni Tokugawa.


These words warn us against human greed.

知  口  唯