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

茶男の心 その2・Heart of a Tea-man Part II

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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:

少々前のことですが、利休をお茶に招いた宇治の茶商人の話に触れたことがありました。同じ話なのですが、多少詳細が違うバージョンを見ましたのでこちらにご紹介します。

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.

宇治の上林竹安がある時午後の茶会を催し、利休を招待しました。利休は弟子の貴人達に付き添われて到着しました。竹安は当然とても喜び、自ら茶を点て客をもてなしました。ところが竹安は手が震え、茶杓が茶器から落としたり、茶筅が倒れてもそれを直さなかったり、という有様で利休に茶を差し出しました。それを見た連れの者達はお互い顔を見合わせまさに笑い出そうとした時、利休は「お見事!お国に勝る者は居りません。」と激賞しました。非常に驚いた弟子達は、茶会が終ると早速利休に何故あのように賞賛したのかを尋ねました。

“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.”

利休が説明するところによると、「君達がはるばる遠くから茶を一杯飲む為にやって来たのだから、彼は湯が冷めぬうちに茶を君達に点てることに気を取られていた。だから粗相のことなど気にせず点前を進めたのだ。」

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

(中略)点前の難点を笑う人も居りましょうが、鋭い感性の持ち主である利休はそれが賞賛に値することに気づいていたのです。

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

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