Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nijiriguchi, crawl-through the doorway

I’ll introduce another unique feature of a Japanese-tea-house. In the picture, do you see a small opening on the tea house? It is the entrance to this tearoom for the guests, called nijiriguchi.



After cleansing your hand and mouth at tsukubai, you finally come to the tea room. You squat down in front of nijiriguchi and open the sliding door. You take off your shoes and crawl into the tearoom and into the tea world.

Why is it so small then? Actually, I don’t know the truth, ha ha (^^;; But there are some anecdotes about nijiriguchi. What I have heard is that everybody has to bend down to pass through nijiriguchi, which means everybody naturally has to bow. In the tearoom, everyone is equal no matter what your status in the society is. You bow down to get in the room (^-^) How nice! I like that idea. I’ve also heard that samurais had to leave their swords outside of the room. I imagine you can’t get through nijiriguchi while wearing your swords on your belt.  I guess nijiriguchi were designed by the spirits of ancient tea masters with the wish to create peace and quality in the tearoom.

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