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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箱根茶会 2015・Hakone Chakai 2015

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 great day for the tea gathering.  (Actually, it was a bit too warm to be fully clad in kimono….)  We visited two Urasenke sessions (usucha, ko’icha) and one Da’inihonchado’ugakkai session (ryu’urei at table).  This year the event was held in late September (rather than October as usual).  Not sure if that was the reason, but there were fewer people in each seki (seating or session) – and it was more enjoyable.  More relaxed, and more face-time with the hosts.



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茶男の心 その2・Heart of a Tea-man Part II


Some time ago, we shared a story of a tea merchant in Uji who hosted Rikyu for tea.  We came across another version of the same episode – with a slightly different twist.  Here is the story:


Kamibayashi Chikuan of Uji once gave a Tea Ceremony in the evening and invited Rikyu, who came attended by all the nobles who were his pupils.  Chikuan was naturally delighted beyond words and himself made the tea and served it.  But his hand trembled and the tea-spoon fell from the caddy, and without stopping to put straight the tea-whisk, which rolled on the mats by his side, kneeling as he was, he presented the bowl to Rikyu.  The others looked at each other and were just on the point of breaking into smiles when Rikyu exclaimed: “Splendid!  No one in the Empire could do it better!”  Greatly surprised, as soon as the meeting was over they asked him the reason for this high praise.


“Since he invited you all to come this long way just to take one cup of tea,” explained the Master, “his whole mind was concentrated on giving it to you before the water got cool.  So he took no notice of those slips or accidents but went straight on and finished serving it.”


(Omitted)  The others might laugh at flaw in the ceremony, but Rikyu’s deeper insight perceived how praise-worthy was the cause of it.


The Japanese Tea Ceremony, A.L. Sadler
Copyright 2008 Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc.

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Akoda tea powder container is in the shape of an akoda melon.  The type often used for Ten’nen-ki is the favorite of Joshin-sa’i’s, which is lacquered black on the inside and tamenuri on the outside.  The lid is made of plum wood.  The akoda shape gets its name from akoda melon, which actually looks like a pumpkin.  (It also reminds me of a Bundt cake.)


It is not only the Omotesenke School that uses akoda tea powder containers.  Different schools have their own preferred style of akoda.  Some have lacquered lids or paulowina wood lids – rather than plum wood.  There are also akoda made of blue and white porcelain.



Originally posted on October 17, 2014