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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One of the things that students of the Japanese language may find difficult is how to count items: one dog is “ippiki,” one pencil is “ippon,” one plate is “ichimai” and one tatami is “ichijo.”


What about tea?  A bowl of tea is not “ippai” (as you might say for sake) – but “ippuku.”  The same counter is used for medicine.  Tea was once considered medicine a long time ago, and it may be a holdover practice from those days.  If you are of certain age, you may remember receiving medicines in a power form wrapped in wax paper.


Wait….  Don’t we say “ippuku” for tobacco as well?  Sure enough, there were medicines made using tobacco leaves in the Edo period.

Chanoyu, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Omotesenke, San Francisco

Originally posted April 22, 2015


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3月17日は咸臨丸の日・March 17 is Kanrin-maru Day

The Kanrin Maru Monument and Golden Gate Bridge

March 17 is the Kanrin Maru Day in San Francisco.  It commemorates the arrival of Kanrin Maru, the first Japanese ship to achieve a trans-Pacific voyage to the United States, in 1860.


I started thinking about the Kanrin Maru after a visit to the “Rin-wa Ken” tea room in San Francisco, wondering how the name had been chosen.  Perhaps “Rin” was taken from the Kanrin Maru, and “Wa” signifying either harmony or Japan or both.  “Wa” is also the first character of “Wa-Kei-Sei-Jaku.”


On 9 February 1860 (18 January in Japanese calendar), the Kanrin Maru set sail from Uraga to San Francisco.  It was captained by by Katsu Kaishū, and was carrying passengers like John Manjiro and Fukuzawa Yukichi.


In 2010, there were a series of events in San Francisco to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Kanrin Maru.  Among others, the Kanrin Maru Monument, originally gifted by Osaka to its sister city San Francisco for the 100th Anniversary, was rededicated at Lincoln Park.





地元新聞記事・S.F. Chronicle article


Consulate General of Japan’s special webpage for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Kanrin Maru in San Francisco

咸臨丸再奉納式・Kanrin Maru Monument Rededication

Originally posted March 2014

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Tabidansu is used during the ro season – especially in April.  It is said that Rikyu first used it during Hideyoshi’s campaign against the Ho’ujo’u clan in Odawara.  Unfinished paulownia wood is the Rikyu style.  There are lacquered models that are preferred by Sei-sa’i or Rokuroku-sa’i.


There is a tema’e called “shibadate” (as you would outdoors on the ground), in which the lower shelf is pulled out and placed on the tatami.  The lower shelf can also be placed on top of the upper shelf.  Or it can stay put, in which case the mizusashi is pulled forward by about one third of its diameter.  There are a variety of ways to decorate the tabidansu as well.

【濃茶】 けんどん蓋はあらかじめ開けておき、水指を手前に引いてあります。

Ko’icha】 The lid of tabidansu is left open, and the mizusashi is  pulled forward.

【薄茶初飾り】 薄茶器と水指だけです。

Usucha Shokazari (Mode 1)】 Only usuchaki and mizusashi are displayed.

【二飾り】 上の棚板の切り込みに柄杓が掛けられ、蓋置きは柄杓の柄の下です。薄茶器は下の棚板中央です。

Nikazari (Mode 2)】 The hishaku is hanging from the cutout in the upper shelf, and the futa’oki is below the hishaku‘s handle.  The usuchaki is placed in the middle of the lower shelf.

【総飾り】 二重棚同様茶器と茶碗を右手でひとつずつ棚に置きつけます。

So’ukazari  (Full Mode)】 When the usuchaki and chawan are placed on the lower shelf, they are placed one at a time and with the right hand – just like niju’udana.

【割飾り】 手順は総飾りと同じですが、薄茶器が上の棚板、茶碗が下の棚板に置かれます。

Warikazari (Split Mode)】 The steps are the same as so’ukazari, but the usuchaki is placed on the top shelf, and the chawan on the lower shelf.

【茶碗・Chawan】 赤膚焼大塩昭山作・Askahada ware by Sho’uzan O’unishi

【水指・Mizusashi】 トーマス荒川(荒川陶器)・Thomas Arakawa (Arakawa Pottery)

Originally posted April 2, 2014