Telling Stories

One of the pleasures of attending a tea gathering are the stories told at the gathering.   Putting together how the meaning of the scroll and the choices of the utensils along with the poetic names of the sweets and chashaku make for an interesting time.

Some of my students are beginnning to study the kazari mono where the scroll, the teabowl, the chashaku or other utensil is featured in the temae.  In class we practice telling the stories of the utensils.  Just because you purchased the bowl cheap on eBay does not make a good story for the tea gathering.  Neither does I liked this bowl, but I know nothing about it.  There should be something about it. Be thoughtful about what utensils you are using for your tea gatherings.

If you do purchase a utensil and you don’t know anything about it,  use it in a chakai.  Maybe it was not the featured utensil, but you can begin to build a history for it.   “This chawan was used in a going away chakai at the Issoan Tea Room last January when my sempai was leaving for Japan. Because it was un-named, he called it Bunri, or separation.”

Perhaps you know something about the artist, his history or your relationship with him.  Perhaps it was given to you by someone the both of you know.   Perhaps you have featured something else by this particular artist in another chakai

That is why I am judicious in acquiring tea utensils.  It seems if I wait,  tea utensils come to me, and always there seems to be an interesting story about how it came to me.

Please, no more eBay yaki stories.

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