One of the exercises we did while Machida Gyotei sensei was here was Ko-tauki kagetsu. I have never had the chance to do this one before, and it was something I was excited to participate in.
In regular kagetsu, there are 5 participants and 4 bowls of usucha are made. The roles of the players are chosen by lot by picking bamboo cards called fuda from a pouch to determine who makes tea and who drinks tea.
In ko-tsuki kagetsu, the first guest chooses an incense from 3 different ones, and prepares the burner so all of the participants can smell (listen to) the incense. Each incense packet has the name of that particular incense written on it, and becomes the theme for the kagetsu. Our chosen incense was named, “16th night moon” or “the day after the full moon.” After everyone has finished listening to the incense, the participants move from the 8 mat room to the four and a half mat room and make 3 bowls of usucha just like basic kagetsu. At the end, the participants all move back to the 8 mat room and the host brings in a portable desk and brush and ink set and prepares the record of the kagetsu with the participants names, the name of the incense and then everyone composes and writes down their poem based on the theme.
After everyone has written their poem, they are read aloud and commented upon, and lots are drawn for the prize — the record of participants and poems. And guess what? I won the prize as you can see above. Such a wonderful prize for a chado geek like me.