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


箱根茶会・Hakone Chakai

Hakone Chakai is an event held annually at Hakone Gardens.  It is an opportunity for the Bay Area tea practitioners of different schools to come together and share our common bond through chanoyu.


Groups from Urasenke, Omotesenke, Mushanoko’ujisenke, Da’inihonchado’ugakkai, Edosenke served tea at 8 different facilities within the gardens.


It was a beautiful autumn Sunday, and a perfect day for the tea gathering.  We visited three Urasenke sessions (usucha, ko’icha and ryu’urei at table).  It is interesting to observe otema’e of a different tradition.


Hakone Gardens are located in the Saratoga hills, south of San Francisco.  Hakone occupies more than 18 acres of land, including manicured Japanese gardens where tea houses are located used for the tea event. 


Hakone Gardens website: http://hakone.us/main.html


Virtual visit to Hakone Gardens


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月見団子・Moon-viewing Dumplings

Tsukimi,moon-viewing-party,japan.JPG山形に盛られた月見団子・Moon-viewing dumplings arranged in a mountain shape
Tsukimi,moon-viewing-party,japan” by katorisi. Licensed under CC 表示 3.0 via ウィキメディア・コモンズ.



Why dumplings for moon viewing?  Moon viewing originated as a harvest celebration.  Sweet potatoes and beans were initially offered to the moon as a token of thanksgiving.  Later people began to use round sweet dumplings made of rice flour – due to the association of the round shape with the moon.


Why arrange the dumplings in a pointed mountain shape?  The pointed end is believed to lead to the “spiritual realm.”  It may be for a similar reason that morijio (a chunk of salt at the entrance of a house to ward off evil) and tatezuna (ceremonial mounds of sand at a Shinto’u shrine) have pointed cone shapes.


Morijio in Japan.JPG

Morijio in Japan” by Show ryu. Licensed under CC 表示-継承 3.0 via ウィキメディア・コモンズ.



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武野紹鷗・Jo’u’o’u Takeno

TakenoJoo.jpg武野紹鷗・Jo’u’o’u Takeno
TakenoJoo” by ja:user:田英. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

武野紹鷗(たけの じょうおう)(通称は新五郎)(1502年 -1555年)は、堺の豪商(武具・皮革商)、茶人でした。

Jo’u’o’u Takeno (né Shingoro’u)(1502-1555) was an influential merchant in Sakai, near Osaka, dealing in leather goods used by warriors.  He was also a tea practitioner.


As a youth, Jo’u’o’u enjoyed scholarly activities, and studies waka (Japanese poetry) from Sanjōnishi Sanetaka.  Jo’u’o’u learned from Sanetaka that, in order to create superior poems, it was important to practice (repetition of studies and experiences) and to be creative (creating something unique and new, instead of simply copying what he studied).  Jo’u’o’u later adapted this philosophy to his tea practice.


It is said that Sanetaka introduced Jo’u’o’u to the introductory volume of “E’igataigai” (a book of poetry theories) authored by Fujiwara no Sada’i’e.  Wabi and sabi are concepts that originated from poetry.  Who brought them into the philosophy of tea?  Some say it was Juko’u Murata.  However, because Jo’u’o’u was a poet, others strongly believe that Jo’u’o’u was responsible.


At the age of 31, he entered religious service at a Zen temple, and took the name “Jo’u’o’u.”  According to the “Yamano’u’e So’uji Chronicle,” Jo’u’o’u studied tea from So’uri Fujita.  On the other hand, the “Nan’bo’uroku” records that So’uchin Mozuya and So’ugo Mozuya were the teachers.  So’uri, So’uchin, So’ugo – whoever Jo’u’o’u’s teacher was, they were all Kyoto residents; it naturally follows that Jo’u’o’u’s center of tea learning was Kyoto.  Nevertheless, Jo’u’o’u was interested in developing a style of tea that was suited to the people’s customs in Sakai rather than merely imitating Kyoto.  In addition to Jo’u’o’u’s waka background, his Zen training also influenced his tea practice.


Jo’u’o’u is also known as the owner of one famous “Jo’u’o’u nasucha’ire.  Rikyu was one of disciples studying tea from Jo’u’o’u.  He is entombed at Nanso’u-ji in Sakai.

130202 Nanshuji Sakai Osaka pref Japan07n.jpg南宗寺・Nanso’u-ji
130202 Nanshuji Sakai Osaka pref Japan07n” by 663highland. Licensed under CC 表示 2.5 via ウィキメディア・コモンズ.