Japanese Tea Ceremony - Equipment

Equipment

Tea equipment is called chadōgu (茶道具?). A wide range of chadōgu is available and different styles and motifs are used for different events and in different seasons. All the tools for tea ceremony are handled with exquisite care. They are scrupulously cleaned before and after each use and before storing, and some are handled only with gloved hands.

The following are a few of the essential components:

  • Chakin (茶巾?). The "chakin" is a small rectangular white linen or hemp cloth mainly used to wipe the tea bowl.
  • Tea bowl (茶碗, chawan?). Tea bowls are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, and different styles are used for thick and thin tea. Shallow bowls, which allow the tea to cool rapidly, are used in summer; deep bowls are used in winter. Bowls are frequently named by their creators or owners, or by a tea master. Bowls over four hundred years old are in use today, but only on unusually special occasions. The best bowls are thrown by hand, and some bowls are extremely valuable. Irregularities and imperfections are prized: they are often featured prominently as the "front" of the bowl.
  • Tea caddy (棗, Natsume?). The small lidded container in which the powdered tea is placed for use in the tea-making procedure (手前; 点前; 手前, temae?).
  • Tea scoop (茶杓, chashaku?). Tea scoops generally are carved from a single piece of bamboo, although they may also be made of ivory or wood. They are used to scoop tea from the tea caddy into the tea bowl. Bamboo tea scoops in the most casual style have a nodule in the approximate center. Larger scoops are used to transfer tea into the tea caddy in the mizuya (preparation area), but these are not seen by guests. Different styles and colours are used in various tea traditions.
  • Tea whisk (茶筅, chasen?). This is the implement used to mix the powdered tea with the hot water. Tea whisks are carved from a single piece of bamboo. There are various types. Tea whisks quickly become worn and damaged with use, and the host should use a new one when holding a chakai or chaji.

Read more about this topic:  Japanese Tea Ceremony

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