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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建水で廻る・Turning with Kensui


When you turn with kensui in your hand, you turn your back to guests.  I thought it was to shield “impure” elements from the guests.  I was doing some reading – somewhat related to the switching back to the ro season, and saw something interesting.


In a room where guests are seated to the right of the host, the host stands up at the end of tema’e with kensui in the left hand, turns left, and exist the room.


What happens if the host turns right – toward the guests?  Kensui goes past the “knee line” (into do’ugudatami where utensils are) and hovers over chawan (in its temporary location), etc.  As the host turns further right, there are other precious utensils.  That is why the host must never let kensui go past the “knee line” when standing up with it.

【参考】 炉の点前[表千家流](世界文化社 2010年刷)


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炉開き茶会2015・Robiraki Chakai 2015


Robiraki Tea Event was hosted by the Northern California Domon-kai at the Nichibei Kaikan building.  This was a unique event in that there were three (3) sessions of usucha in hiroma (large room) and four (4) sessions of koicha in koma (small room).  It was a chilly day with light showers – but in the tea rooms (especially koma) it was (thankfully) very warm.


The scroll is “Ho’ura’i gosa’i no kumo” (Clouds of five colors over Ho’usa’i).  The mountain of Ho’usa’i is a legendary place where immortal sages were thought to inhabit.  The clouds of five colors over that mountain were considered an auspicious symbol.  “Robiraki” marks the beginning of a new year for tea world – and for that occasion, it was the appropriate scroll.


Thank you for your efforts for organizing the event.

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先日 NHK特集DVDの「永平寺」を見ました。お茶と縁の深いのは臨済宗の栄西ですが、もう一つの禅宗である曹洞宗の道元が開山したお寺が福井県にある永平寺です。道元の坐禅は「只管打坐(しかんたざ)」で知られています。「只管」はひたすら、ただ一筋に一つのことに専念すること。「打坐」は座ること、座禅をすること。ですから、「余念を交えずただひたすらに坐る」という意味です。

The other day I watched “E’ihe’i-ji,” an NHK Special DVD.  Yo’usa’i of the Rinzai sect has a deep connection with tea.  Do’ugen, of another Zen sect called So’uto’u, founded a temple called E’ihe’i-ji now in Fuku’i Prefecture.  Do’ugen’s zazen (Zen sitting meditation) is known for “shikan taza (只管打坐).”  “Shikan (只管)” means to dedicate oneself to only one thing.  “Taza (打坐)” means to practice zazen.  Therefore, “shikan taza” means to dedicate oneself to zazen without any distraction.


At E’ihe’i-ji, every movement throughout the day is prescribed.  Every aspect of life from the moment you awake in the morning and until you go to sleep at night is practice; not only zazen, but washing of the face, taking a bath, having a meal, cleaning.  And enlightenment is in the practice itself.


This concept is from the teaching of “igi soku buppo’u (威儀即佛法),” which means to establish the form is to know Buddha’s teaching.  Once prescribed movements become second nature to you, then you are no longer distracted by how to conduct yourself.


A French gentleman who plays go once came into the tea room to watch our tea practice.  He asked: “Why are there so many rules about how to serve tea?”  It gave us a pause at the time, but now I wonder if the answer is somewhat related to what goes on at E’ihe’i-ji.  Chanoyu spurns conceit, and holds wa ke’i se’i jaku (和敬清寂)” as its core principle.  Each movement of otema‘e is also prescribed because otema‘e itself has the power to free us from distractions of the mundane world, n’est-ce pas?