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A Casual Morning For Tea Ceremony With Hacarus!

Experiencing Tea Ceremony in Kyoto at Hacarus

 

In the morning, Hacarus visited Jinmatsuan, a place where you can personally experience a bit of Japanese culture through their workshops and events. I’m going to explain a bit about the history, process, and significance in the way of tea ceremony with some pictures we took during the ritual!

What is tea ceremony, what makes it special and from where does it originate?
In its most simplest sense, tea ceremony (sado) or the way of tea (chanoyu) is ceremonial practice and presentation of matcha, a powdered green tea. Green tea is the only tea leaf in Japan where the entire leaf is used and consumed. Sen no Rikyu is thought to be the most influential figure in the way of tea. He advocated for tea to hold a minimalistic Japanese sense, rather than with extravagance, which was the case in teahouses during that time.

 

The following are generally given by your host:
 Chawan – tea bowl (traditionally ceramic, these tea bowls are used to stir and drink matcha)
 Chakin – tea cloth (a cloth used to wipe the tea bowl, sometimes kaishi is used in its place) 
 Chasen – whisk (typically made of bamboo, chasen is used to quickly whisk matcha and hot water together)
④ Chashaku – tea scoop 
(a small scoop used to put tea from the tea caddy into the tea bowl)
 Natsume/Usuki – tea caddy (a container for tea)

Tomomi and Inoue-san with a chasen

 

How does the process work?
1) Upon arriving to the venue, rows of ozen (small lacquer ware trays)/ were laid out with a chawan, wasanbon on kaishi (paper with which the confectionary, wasanbon, was laid), chasen, and katakuchi (a small pitcher-like bowl with a spout used to pour hot water into the tea bowl). The chawan all differed in appearance and were placed so that the “front” was facing you. In my case, the picture of the hen and rooster.

In the photo: Black tray (ozen), bamboo whisk (chasen), bowl (chawan), confectionary (wasanbon), paper underneath confectionary (kaishi), small white bowl with spout (katakuchi)

 

2) Afterwards, we were handed the chashaku (tea scoop) to put green tea powder from the natsume (tea caddy). Then, we waited for hot water to be poured into our kataguchi (small bowl with a spout). We then took our chasen with three fingers, and quickly stirred the tea until a thick froth begins to form.

In the photo: A chashaku is used to pour milled green tea into a chawan, where one would then proceed to pour hot water and then stirring until a thick froth forms.

3) After stirring, we placed the chasen back to its original position and ate the wasanbon on our kaishi. Following eating our wasanbon, we held our chasen up and turned it clockwise, twice, until the design on the chawan no longer faced us. We then drank our tea, following the ideal drinking about 3-4 times. After finishing our tea, we turned the chawan counter-clockwise, twice, and placed it back to its original position.
In the photo: A matsutake wasanbon!
In the photo: Stirring with focus and vigor- this is what I call 道!

4) To finish, we were then instructed to wipe the edge of the bowl where we had drank with our fingers and then wipe anything left on our fingers to the kaishi. And that concluded our tea ceremony!

Here’s some additional photos!

 

Another really fun and lovely time with Hacarus members!