lunedì 30 agosto 2010

Tokonoma (english version)

It's a long time that I don't write, but also the tea masters take holidays! Although it may not have published anything on the blog, but my practice has not stopped and accompanied me in this hot summer.
I'll start this post with an account of .... my birthday! Yes, you read right: for my birthday I asked my husband to build a tokonoma for me.
What is a tokonoma? It is an architectural element that is part of all traditional Japanese houses. This is a "recess" in the wall which forms the essence or "heart" of the house and where you can watch the best treasures of the family. You can hang a beautiful jiku, put a composition ikebana (or Chabana if it is a room for tea ceremony), you can use for a koro (incense burner) or you can expose a vase or a statue particularly significant. In traditional homes was the only place that could be "decorated" in the home. There are many types of tokonoma: those of the traditional houses are planned during the construction of the house itself, but there are also some "adjustments" for those who have a modern house or a Western home. In these cases the tokonoma is "built" like forniture trying to integrate as much as possible in furnishing the room in which it is placed. For example, my teacher, who unfortunately does not have a traditional house, has built a very similar in a cabinet without the doors, whereas I wanted something that was lighter like structure and more rustic and natural effect, so my sweet husband decided to simply create two columns pine resting on the mat and that they cover as a simple "shelf" of the same type of wood. The final effect I leave you to judge. To complete my stay I bought the mats I needed for the space of a traditional tea ceremony room, four and a half tatami mats. Certainly my living room is not in real Japanese style but little by little I want to turn for a space of my own where I could exercise even better in the art of tea.
To cap it all, my better half has "invented", on my advice, a tsukubai (ritual fountain) for "apartment" that recreates, however, the natural atmosphere of Japanese gardens.

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