Hibashi

Among the essential utensils in Chanoyu are a pair of metal hi-bashi, 火箸, fire-rods, used by the tei-shu, 亭主, house-master, to move pieces of charcoal, sumi, 炭. The charcoal presentation in the presence of the guests, kyaku, 客, is called sumi de-mae, 炭手前, charcoal hand-fore. Different types of hibashi are used with the fu-ro, 風炉, wind-hearth, and the ro, 炉, hearth. For the furo, Sen no Rikyū preferred simple hollow steel rods with an eye-hole at the end and covered with black lacquer. Hibashi for the ro are hollow, metal rods with mulberry wood handles: kuwa-e, 桑柄, mulberry-handle. The most formal hibashi are kazari hi-bashi, 飾火箸,...

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Tabako Bon and the Five Elements

The utensils within the tabako bon, 煙草盆, smoke-plant tray, may be identified with the Go-gyō, 五行, Five- transitions, these are expressions of the five physical elements: Tabako ire, 煙草入れ, tobacco-receptacle; the paper is folded into thirds in both directions creating nine areas. Ito-tabako, 糸煙草, thread tobacco, kizami tabako, 刻み煙草, thinly cut tobacco. Finely cut threads, required to be slightly moist, needs humidor. Hi-ire, 火入, fire-receptacle; ta-don, 炭團, charcoal-circle. Hai, 灰, ash, wood ash. Hai-fuki, 灰吹, ash-blow; green bamboo tube with small amount of water. Kiseru, キセル, 煙管, smoke-tube; Cambodia ksher.  Parts of the kiseru: ra-u, 羅宇, gauze-eave, rattan pipe stem, dō, 胴, body, hi-zara, 火皿, fire-dish, bowl, gan-kubi,...

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Mizuya Dogu

The mizu-ya, 水屋, water-house, is a room where preparations are made for presenting Cha-no-yu,  茶の湯, Tea-’s-hot water.  Mizu-ya dō-gu, 水屋道具, water-house way-tool, are a large number of utensils used in the actual presentation of ten-mae, 点前, offer-fore.  Although some cooking may be done in the mizuya, most of that is done in the kitchen which in Japanese is dai-dokoro, 台所, stand-place, and chū-bō, 厨房,  kitchen-room. The mizuya must have water and a heat source for hot water, and these are provided by a mizu-game, 水瓶, water-vat, and a gan-ro, 丸炉, round-hearth, in the floor.  Preparation is called jun-bi, 準備, proportion-prepare. The cup of the ladle is made...

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Sensu

The sensu is an essential part of Chanoyu. It is the emblem of the guest, just as the fukusa is the emblem of the host. I wondered why the sensu for men and women in Chanoyu are those particular sizes and styles. The sensu for a man is 6 sun kane-jaku, and that for a woman is 5 sun kane-jaku. Six is an In number to complement his Yō, and five is a Yō number to complement her In. Special sensu may be 7 sun kane-jaku, as well as other sizes. Both of the sensu for men and women have the same number of ribs, hone, 骨,...

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Futaoki

The height of Rikyū’s take futa-oki, 竹蓋置, bamboo lid-rest, measures 1.8 sun kane-jaku, 1.8 寸曲尺, “inch” bend-span: also 18 bu (分) kane-jaku, 180 rin (厘)kane-jaku. The 1.8 sun kane-jaku measurement equals 1.44 sun kujira-jaku.  Ideally, the bamboo lidrest is made of freshly cut green bamboo: ao-dake, 青竹, green-bamboo, hiki-kiri, 引切, draw-cut (sawn), futa-oki. Is the origin of the aodake futaoki a sakazuki made of aodake, and perhaps for drinking o-mi-ki , お神酒, hon.-sacred sake, at a Shintō ritual? The green bamboo cup at the right, ao-dake sakazuki, 青竹盃, green-bamboo sake cup, h. 2” – 1.7 sun kane-jaku. The height of the green bamboo futaoki used by Take-no...

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Robiraki

  In Chanoyu, the sunken hearth is opened on the first day of the Wild Boar of the tenth month.  According to Japanese traditional architecture, the ro is a permanent part of a Tearoom, which is usually covered over when not in use.  Therefore, the floor has to be opened to reveal the hearth, hence “opening” the ro. The traditional opening of the hearth, ro-biraki, 炉開, hearth-open, should occur on the first I no hi, 亥の日, Boar’s day, of the tenth month. of the kyū-reki, 旧暦, old-calendar.  This day varies greatly, as the Zodiac cycle of twelve animals is different each year.  In addition, the “tenth month”...

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