Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tea ceremony with tables and chairs

Ichinokura in Gifu prefecture is the next town of ours, Seto.  It is one of the regions where the Mino wares are produced.  Last Saturday, we went there for the tohnosato festival  (   Tonosato literally means a pottery village.  You find some stands for food and ceramics at the main site.  Some potteries open their studio to the public around the town during the festival.

Konnichiwa, it’s Kohei(^^)  The reason we visited the festival was for a tea ceremony.  Our tea master introduced us the tea ceremony held at Koubei-gama studio (  There were two things that I was curious about this ceremony.  First is the ceremony was held with tables and chairs.  Another thing is that this ceremony was hosted by all men.

Ordinary ceremony is usually held in a tatami room and people sit on the tatami mats.  Tea for guests is also placed on tatami, as well as all other utensils.  But, at Koubei-gama, the place for the ceremony was at a tiled hall of a classic Japanese building.  There was a low table for the host and all the utensils were placed on it.  We, guests had benches and long tables.  This ceremony style is called ryurei.  You don’t meed a tatami room.  There was not tokonoma-alcove, either.  But still, they had flowers and an art to welcome the guests.  I always have tea lessons in a tatami room so I feel the ryurei style very casual and novel.

Most of the tea ceremonies that I’ve attended were hosted by women.  I guess female has more population in The Way of Tea (sado).   However, the host and the assistants at Koubei-gama were all men.  They wore a formal kimono and hakama skirt.  The color of their outfits was dark and subdued.  The movements were slow and stable.  The atmosphere was totally different from a ceremony by ladies.  The ryourei by men was really cool.  I thought it was not polite to take photos during the ceremony, so I don’t have any.  Please refer the photos at Koubei-gama’s webpage. >>>

I was inspired with this ceremony and someday I want to host a ceremony like that with nice outfits^^  Jah!

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