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

夜咄の灯り・Lighting for Yobanashi

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今日は灯りのお話です。

Today’s topic is lighting.

夜咄というても、昔は今のような照明はありませんから、お茶で使われる灯火というと、短檠(たんけい)ということになります。俗に雀土器(すずめかわらけ)というんですが、ちょっと小さめの土器に油を入れ、灯芯(とうしん)を入れて、火を点ける。はじめは暗く感じるんですけれども、目が慣れてきますと、部屋全体ぐらいは照らしてくれて、それぐらいの明るさのほうが落ち着いた感じで、今でも夜を愉しもうと思うと、あの灯火にしますんですね。電気は明るいですが、からっとしすぎで夜どおし変わりませんから、微妙に呼吸をしているような灯火のもとでお茶をするというのが、捨てがたいんでしょうね。

When yobanashi (a night-time tea gathering in the dead of winter) was held in the old days, there was no lighting fixtures.  Rather, “tanke’i” was used, which was often called “suzume kawarake.”  It was basically a small clay vessel with oil and a wick.  When lit, it would feel rather dark at first.  Eventually your eyes would adjust.  It is just enough to light the entire room.  In fact, that level of brightness is much more cozy, and is much more suited for enjoying yobanashi even today.  Electricity has its advantage of being bright – but it is too clear, and does not change at all throughout the evening.  In contrast, a fire on a wick gently flickers – as if breathing.  Having a tea gathering with such lighting is hard to pass up.

谷崎潤一郎も「陰翳礼讃」で昔ながらの日本の灯りを懐かしんでいるようです。

In his work “In Praise of Shadows,” Jun’ichiro’u Tanizaki also reminisces the pre-electricity, old-fashioned Japanese lighting.

「宗心茶話」(堀内宗心)世界文化社 2010

Originally posted December 28, 2015

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