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

立冬と小雪・Ritto’u and Sho’usetsu

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Perspectives: Rina Banerjee

Copyright (c) 2014 Smithsonian Institution

立冬(りっとう)は11月8日頃から15日間の小雪(しょうせつ)までの期間です。いよいよ冬の始まりです。この日から立春の前日までが冬となります。

Ritto’u starts around November 8 and continues for 15 days until Sho’usetsu.  Winter is finally upon us! It marks the beginning of winter, which lasts until the day before Risshun.

そして小雪は11月23日頃から大雪(たいせつ)までの15日間。

And Sho’usetsu runs for 15 days from about November 23.

陽射しが弱くなり次第に冷え込みが厳しくなってきますが、まだ本格的な冬の訪れでは先のことです。雪が振ってもさほど多くないことから、小雪といわれたものだそうです。

The sun’s rays are getting weaker, and the chill in the air deepens.  But the dead of winter is still sometime off.  This season is called Sho’usetsu (小雪)(“little snow”) because even when it snows, it doesn’t amount to much.

茶の湯では,11月になるとその年の初夏に摘んだ新茶を詰めた茶壺が宇治の茶園から届けられ、その口封を切って葉茶を取り出し茶臼で碾いて粉末にして茶を喫する「口切の茶事」が行われます。新茶は壺の中に入れ山頂の冷処において夏を越させるのがよいとされるのは,茶壺にほどよい通気性があって葉茶の熟成を助けるものと考えられていたからだそうです。

In the chanoyu world, November has been the time for tea jars full of tea leaves, which had been freshly picked in early summer, to start arriving from tea fields of Uji.  “Kuchikiri no chaji” was a tea event for braking the seal of a tea jar, taking out the tea leaves, grinding them with a mill, and tasting the freshly ground tea.  Fresh tea leaves, after the harvest, were kept in jars and stored in cool places high up in the mountains to pass the summer.  Tea jars let just enough air to pass through, which aided the fermentation of the leaves.

口切と炉開きの11月。茶の湯にとっては大切な節目の月です。

November marks “kuchikiri” and “robiraki.”  It is an important month with meaningful events.

【参考・References】

http://koyomigyouji.com/24-rit.html

http://koyomigyouji.com/24-shousetsu.html

https://kotobank.jp/word/口切の茶事-1304980

Originally published November 4, 2015

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