[Traditional Arts, Sado] Names of Tea Utensils and How to Use Them

[Traditional Arts, Sado] Names of Tea Utensils and How to Use Them
There are many different types of tea utensils, and some people may find it difficult to prepare a complete set. It is important to choose tea utensils that are easy to handle and suitable for the tea ceremony. Beginners to Sado should start with the main tea utensils such as tea bowls and chashaku (tea scoop). In this article, we will introduce the types of tea utensils, how to select them, and where to buy them.

Names and Readings of Tea Utensils

A chawan (tea bowl) is one of the essential tea utensils used in the Sado. It is also sometimes called a "matcha bowl. It is believed to have spread in Japan along with tea during the Nara and Heian periods. As the culture of chanoyu spread, many tea bowls for Sado have been produced in various parts of Japan.

棗 Tea caddy

Natsume (tea caddy) is a container for storing matcha (powdered green tea). It is used to hold thin tea, which is the most common type of matcha. The name "natsume" is derived from its similarity in shape to the fruit of the jujube plant. Natsume come in a wide variety of colors and shapes, so they must be used for different purposes.

茶杓 tea scoop

A chashaku is a tea utensil used to scoop matcha from a tea container or jujube into a tea bowl. It is shaped like a long, thin teaspoon with a rounded tip to facilitate sipping matcha. The chashaku is also considered one of the most important tea utensils, as it reflects the values and personality of the tea master.

水差し Jugs

A mizusashi is a tool used to store water for use during tea ceremonies. It is also called a mizusashi, unton, or mizuki. It is mainly used to rinse tea bowls and tea whisks, or to add water to a tea kettle to adjust the temperature of tea. There are various shapes and sizes of mizusashi, but the most common is a cylindrical shape similar to a large teacup.

柄杓 Ladle

A ladle is a container with a handle for drawing water from a kettle or jug. There are three main types of ladles: the furnace ladle, the wind furnace ladle, and the dual-use ladle. The furnace ladle is a larger ladle and is used from November to April. On the other hand, the ladle for wind furnace is smaller and is used from May to October. The dual-use ladle is a medium-sized ladle that can be used for both furnace and fireplace.

釜・茶釜 Kettles and Tea Kettles

A chagama is an iron kettle used to boil water. The size and shape of the kettle varies, but generally, a larger kettle is used for the furnace and a smaller kettle is used for the wind furnace. Tea kettles for wind furnaces are often called "furogama".

袱紗 Fukusa

Fukusa is a fabric used to cleanse the tea whisk and tea utensils. Many people think of fukusa when they think of wrapping money at weddings and wakes. However, its use in Sado is different. Fukusa are usually purple for men and vermilion for women. The dimensions of a fukusa for both men and women are 27.5 cm in length and 28.4 cm in width.

茶筅 Tea whisk

Chasen is a bamboo tea utensil used for mixing matcha and hot water in a tea bowl. 10cm long bamboo tube, more than half of it is torn into small pieces and woven with thread. The type of bamboo used and its detailed shape vary from style to style. In general, a Chasen with rough ears is used for Koicha (thick tea) and a Chasen with fine ears for Usucha (thin tea).

扇子 Folding fan

In Sado, a fan is used as a courtesy and greeting at the tea ceremony. A fan is generally used to look up when it is hot, but it is not used to look up in the Sado. In tea ceremonies, a fan is generally held in the hand or placed on the tatami mat.

懐紙 paper container

Kaishi is a piece of paper that serves as a plate for eating sweets at a tea ceremony. In addition to serving sweets, it is also used to wipe the tea bowl after drinking tea. Basically, plain white kaigami is used, folded in two, and carried with you.

How to Select Tea Utensils

As mentioned above, there are various types of tea utensils, and it is not easy to have them all. Therefore, if you are just starting out with Sado, it is a good idea to first learn how to choose a tea bowl, chashaku (tea scoop), and chasen (tea whisk), which are especially necessary. If you can afford it, you can enjoy the atmosphere of Sado more if you also have tea utensils (jujube). The following is how to select a tea bowl, a tea scoop, a tea whisk, and a tea utensil (jujube).

How to Select Tea Bowls

When selecting a tea bowl, it is advisable to focus on ease of serving and handling. Generally, we recommend a tea bowl for matcha, which is both easy to serve and easy to handle. The size of the bowl should be large enough to be held in one hand for easy handling. In addition, it is recommended to choose a tea bowl made of sturdy material in case it should break.

How to Select a Ladle for Tea Ceremony

For beginners to Sado, it is best to choose an orthodox bamboo chashaku. Bamboo chashaku is easy to clean and durable, making it easy to use even for beginners. In addition, a chashaku with a curved part for scooping matcha makes it easier to grasp the amount of matcha needed. Another option is to choose a chashaku made of something other than bamboo if you like the look and feel of the chashaku. Wooden chashaku can also be recommended for those who prefer a more tactile feel. Once you have some familiarity with the chashaku, there is another way to choose a chashaku that suits the scene of use. For example, if it is summer time, you may want to choose a chashaku with a cool blue color to match the season.

How to Select a Tea Whisk

The key to choosing a chasen is the number of tips. The appropriate number of tips depends on whether the tea type is light or dark tea. For light tea, a Chasen with 80 to 100 tips is suitable. For beginners of Sado, it is recommended to choose a Chasen with a large number of tips for light tea. On the other hand, for Koicha (thick tea), a Chasen called "Araho" with 32 to 50 tips is used. It is recommended to purchase an araho when you are somewhat familiar with Sado, as it is said that skill is required to use an araho.

How to Select Tea Utensils

In order to better enjoy the atmosphere of Sado, it is even better to have tea utensils that are appropriate for the tea ceremony. Beginners of Sado often serve thin tea, and therefore, tea utensils for thin tea, such as jujube, will help them enjoy the tea ceremony more. Natsume come in a variety of shapes and colors, but for beginners to Sado, we recommend that they have a lid that is easy to remove. If the lid can be easily removed, it is easier to transfer matcha to a tea bowl, making it more convenient for beginners to use. In addition, matcha is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, so care must be taken in storage conditions to prevent deterioration. To maintain the freshness of matcha, it is advisable to consider the airtightness of the container as a selection point. Color and decoration should be selected to match the atmosphere of the tea ceremony and your own taste.

Where can I buy tea utensils?

Next, we will explain where to purchase tea utensils. Tea utensils are generally purchased at tea ceremony utensil stores. There are a variety of tea ceremony utensil stores in department stores and online stores, as well as specialty stores. Beginners to Sado should purchase a set of recommended tea utensils at a store where they can feel free to consult with the store staff for recommendations. If you know the style of your Sado class, you can also ask the store staff to recommend tea ceremony utensils suited to your style.

Selecting tea utensils that match the atmosphere of Sado and your own taste

There are various types of tea utensils used in Sado, including tea bowls, tea caddies, tea caddies, tea whisks, and tea caddies. Since it is not easy to have all the tea ceremony utensils at once, it is recommended to start with the typical tea bowls, chashaku and chasen. When selecting tea utensils, it is important to consider ease of making matcha, ease of handling, and durability. The recommended tea utensils will also vary depending on the styles of the Sado school and your own taste. There are a variety of tea ceremony utensil stores, including specialty stores, department stores, and online stores.

Shibahashi Tea Utensil Store

We are a specialty tea ceremony utensil store. We have a large selection of items ranging from practice utensils, artists' masterpieces, calligraphy, various arts and crafts, and mizuya consumables. Please feel free to contact us. (We do not deal in antiques.)

Beautiful and comfortable tea ceremony utensils soui

soui ® is a lifestyle store focusing on tea ceremony utensils. The owner, who loves matcha green tea and dried sweets, carefully selects and introduces items that blend in with the modern living environment. Why don't you start a lifestyle of enjoying tea while staying close to the seasons?

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