January 18, 2012

Bamboo and Japanese Tea Ceremony

Bamboo and the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
As most of you tea enthusiast know, the bamboo plays and important role in the tea ceremony and the tea room. Bamboo can be found in many places within the tea room such as the Futaoki (kettle lit rest). The bamboo Futaoki is narrow during the summer season when the Furo hearth is used and wider in winter when the Ro sunken hearth is used because the Hishaku cup is bigger.
The Hanaire (flower vase) in the Tokonoma (alcove) is frequently made from bamboo. A bamboo Hanaire can be hung from the Tokobashira which is the main supporting pillar of the Tokonoma alcove. The alcove is often considered to have the highest status in the Japanese tea ceremony. Another possibility is to place a bamboo vase on the floor in the middle of the alcove, depending on the scroll hanging on the alcove back wall.
The Tabako-bon (smoking ware box) has a bamboo ashtray. A little water is poured into it in order to smoothly extinguish tobacco.
The Hishaku (water ladle) is always made from bamboo. As mentioned previously, sizes vary with the seasons. Also the angle of the tip of the handle is different depending on whether it is used for the Ro or the Furo.
The Chashaku (tea scoop) is mosrtly made from bamboo. In some cases the bamboo maybe lacquered. Depending on the type of Chashaku there could be a node in the middle or no node at all.
The Chasen (tea whisk) is always made from bamboo. A light yellow or whitish bamboo whisk is most common. However, a smoked bamboo which has a darker color could be used for certain occasions.
But also outside the tea room in the garden bamboo can often be found. This year I was asked to make various objects with fresh green bamboo for the Hatsu-gama (first tea ceremony of the year). It is common to use new and fresh objects in order to portray a “fresh start” image. It is common practice for professional tea practitioners to renew all bamboo fencing around the tea room
I renewed the bamboo at the Tsukubai outside so that water flows from a fresh green source. Also I made a flower vase, a Futaoki, and the bamboo ashtray for in the Tabako-bon. My greatest challenge was to get the green bamboo to look clean and green. When I cut them down they looked grayish and had some dirt on them. I found a way to make them shiny green and my tea teacher was very satisfied. Please enjoy the result pictures below.











2 comments:

NyNy said...

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DeletedBlog said...

>> I found a way to make them shiny green and my tea teacher was very satisfied.

Can you satisfy my curiosity and tell me what you did to keep the bamboo green and shiny ?