Yesterday, Issoan celebrated the opening of the winter hearth. The day was cold, rainy and windy. A great day for a cozy tea gathering. Guests arrived from across town, from Seattle area, and half a world away via zoom for two seki. It was especially exciting for three new students, who had never attended a chaji before.
It is a treat to see the charcoal fire laid in the sunken hearth. There is nothing like the steam coming from the kama when it is heated with charcoal.
A light meal was served (with sake!) while the water in the kama was heating. After the meal, zenzai sweet was served. I only make this sweet once a year and the students look forward to it.
The tokonoma featured the chatsubo with decorative knots. The scroll by Fujii Kaido, Daitokuji reads, “Shuku issei no kari,” Autumn sky, a single cry of the wild goose. One very foggy night, my husband was taking out the garbage and heard a very lonely faint honk, as if a goose had lost his way and could not find his flock. So I remember this story whenever I hang this scroll.
Surprising late chrysanthemums.
Minako sensei’s daikai chaire with karahanamon shoha donsu naga o shifuku.
Genko’s chashaku, named Kan, barrier or gate.
Tofuku natsume, made by Shuho Kumagai.
Mizusashi by local potter Richard Brandt.
Main usucha bowl, kuro Oribe, named Furosato, hometown.
Special shout out to Stephanie Wilson, Kate Comstock for assisting with the meal and in the mizuya. Thank you all for attending.