Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What the tea lesson is like

Good morning, everyone! I’m writing this blog with having my breakfast; bagels and a banana.

Can you imagine what the tea lessons are like? Temae is series of procedures followed to prepare for making the tea, then to do the tea making and then to put things away. There is no textbook. We practice temae in the roll-play by being a host and guests in the tea room. In the roll-play, our master tells how to do it.

Now we go to the lessons every Wednesday night. One lesson takes about two hours, and sometimes more.

1. Preparing for temae in the preparation room
Cleaning the utensils, preparing tea and sweets

2. Temae practice in the tea room
This is the main part, and takes time. We do one or two sets of temae roll play in a lesson. I play the host and my wife and our master play guests. Sometimes, my master plays the host and shows us her temae.

3. Part practice
My wife has just started the lesson. She is not ready to play the host yet. Our master teaches her a piece of temae movement separately, such as how to hold fukusa (cloth) or how to handle the tea whisk.

4. Putting the things away
Cleaning the utensils and putting them way

Now we are the only pupils in the lesson. So, we have a chat with our master after lessons. We pretty enjoy it. We talk which sweets shop is good or about the flowers in the tea room. Our master sometimes shows us her collection of tea utensils. The last time I helped our master to change a light bulb replacement. She is an elderly woman, so she sometimes needs help. Anyway we love coming to lessons.

This is a part of her tea utensils collection she showed us. They are chashaku (tea scoop).

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