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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十月は実りの季節・October of Harvest

October is a season of harvest, and in many cultures, festivals are celebrated to give thanks for the bounty.  Germany’s Oktoberfest, for example.  Wineries in Napa Valley also host many events.  Pumpkin patches open everywhere in America.  Of course, Japan is no exception, and has numerous autumn events throughout the country.

Let’s review some seasonal “me’i“(銘) (names) for October appropriate for tea utensils (based on another blog available here (Japanese only).

(Alternate Names for October) 

  • Kan’nazuki (神無月)(the Month of Gods)(many festivals are celebrated in October).
  • Kamisarizuki (神去月)(the Month of Departing Gods)(to congregate in Izumo – according to one legend).
  • Shigurezuki (時雨月)(the Month of Shigure – or intermittent showers in late autumn/early winter).
  • Hatsushimozuki (初霜月)(the Month of First Frost).
  • Ryo’ugetsu (良月)(the “Good Month”?).

(Top “Me’i” Suggestions)

  • Kanro (寒露)・・・One of 24 solar terms.  Around October 9.  Dews on flowers turn cold.
  • So’uko’u (霜降)・・・One of 24 solar terms.  Around October 23.  Dews turn frost due to cold.
  • Yayasamu (稍寒)・・・Autumn deepens, and you feel it.  Nippy.
  • Asasamu (朝寒)・・・Morning chill.
  • Yosamu (夜寒)・・・Night chill.
  • Kure-no-aki (暮の秋)・・・End of autumn.
  • Aki-no-kure (秋の暮)・・・Dusk in autumn.  End of autumn.  Late autumn.
  • Nochi-no-tsuki (後の月)・・・The moon on September 13 (lunar calendar), which comes after the moon on August 15 (lunar calendar) – hence the “after moon”.  In 2014, September 13 (lunar calendar) falls on October 6.
  • Tatsuta-hime (龍田姫)・・・Goddess who turns mountains into crimson leaves (because leaves at Mount Tatsuta were particularly beautiful).
  •  Kariwatashi (雁渡し)・・・Gentle breezes that blow in October during a clearing after rain.  Geese are thought to migrate around that time.
  • Kinpu’u (金風)・・・Autumn breezes.
  • Shigure (時雨)・・・Intermittent showers from the end of autumn to the beginning of winter.
  • Kinuta (砧)・・・A mallet and a pedestal (either wood or stone) for pounding fabrics to make them softer and shinier.  It used to be a task for winter nights
  • Nowake (野分)・・・The grass in the field being divided by violent winds.
  • Nikidori (二季鳥)・・・ An alternate name for a goose, meaning “Bird of Two Seasons” – because it arrives in autumn and leaves in spring.
  • Oninoko (鬼の子)・・・”Devil Child” referring to a bagworm.



(十月の異名)  神無月 神去月 時雨月 初霜月 良月

  • 寒露・・・二十四節気のひとつ。10月9日頃。草花に冷たい露が宿る頃。
  • 霜降・・・二十四節気のひとつ。10月23日頃。寒さで露が霜になる頃。
  • 稍寒・・・ややさむ。秋が深まり、感じる寒さ。肌寒・うそ寒・身にしむ。
  • 朝寒・・・あささむ。朝に寒さを強く感じること。
  • 夜寒・・・よさむ。夜に寒さを強く感じること。
  • 暮の秋・・・くれのあき。秋の終りの頃。
  • 秋の暮・・・あきのくれ。秋の夕暮れ。秋の末。晩秋。
  • 後の月・・・のちのつき。旧暦八月十五日の名月に対して、旧暦九月の十三夜の月。
  • 龍田姫・・・たつたひめ。紅葉に染まる秋山の神。
  • 雁渡し・・・かりわたし。十月に雨ののち晴れて吹く、そよ風。この頃に雁が渡ってくる。
  • 金風・・・きんぷう。秋風のこと。
  • 時雨・・・しぐれ。秋の末から冬の初め頃に、降ったりやんだりする雨。
  • 露時雨・・・つゆしぐれ。露がおりて時雨が降ったようになること。
  • ・・・きぬた。 槌つちで布を打ちやわらげ、つやを出すのに用いる木、石の台。女の秋・冬の夜なべ仕事とされた。
  • 野分・・・のわけ。暴風で野草を吹き分けたあと。
  • 二季鳥・・・ にきどり。雁の異称。秋に北方から来て春に帰り去るからいう。
  • 鬼の子・・・おにのこ。蓑虫のこと。

Originally published on October 1, 2014

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2016年天然忌・Ten’nenki 2016



The 7th Grand Master Joshin-sa’i (1705-1751) is credited for establishing the foundation of the current I’emoto (Grand Master) hierarchy.  Tea practice during the Edo Period at the time of Joshin-sa’i was moving away from its Zen root and becoming more of a pastime.  To reflect that tendency, Joshin-sa’i created “Shichiji-shiki” – seven new ways of tea practice that incorporate game-like elements.


In honor of his contribution, memorial tea is dedicated to Joshin-sa’i in September.  His passing is remembered as “Ten’nen-ki” because his Buddhist name was “Ten’nen So’usa Koji.


Ten’nen-ki” was observed in Northern California at the Nichibei Kaikan, and our Shachu also practiced “kazucha” to coincide with it.


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上座・Place of Honor



When you attend tea events, you often encounter difficulties with seating arrangement. For an earlier session of the day, the host may have invited someone to be the first guest – as often is the case.  At later sessions, however, a coordinator may ask you to be the first guest.  Beware!  An old friend of the host may be hiding among other gusts, which you discover only after the session has begun.


It appears this was not unique to the Japanese tea world.  There is a parable from the Biblical times of a similar topic.  Actual seating arrangement notwithstanding, I think the lesson is captured in the last sentence: “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.  If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this person your seat.” Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.  But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.” Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.  For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Luke 14:8-11

婚礼の披蕗宴に招かれたときは、上座にすわっていてはいけません。あなたより身分の高い人が、招かれているかもしれないし、あなたやその人を招いた人が来て、『この人に席を譲ってください。』 とあなたに言うなら、そのときあなたは恥をかいて、末席に着かなければならないでしょう。「招かれることがあって、行ったなら、末席に着きなさい。そうしたら、あなたを招いた人が来て、『どうぞもっと上席にお進みください。』 と言うでしょう。そのときは、満座の中で面目を施すことになります。なぜなら、だれでも自分を高くするものは低くされ、自分を低くする者は高くされるからです。