sabato 19 novembre 2016

Also this year it's robiraki time (English text)

This year I did robiraki with the chatsubo opening ceremony (kuchikiri no chaji).
During the Spring, tea master delivery the chatsubo (tea leaves container) to his favorite tea house because it is filled with tencha leaves, (tea leaves from which, thought tea grinding, is obtained matcha) of the newly occurred collected.
The store put the loose leaves of tencha, which will be used for usucha, on the bottom of the container, than he adds above the small sealed bags containing more prized tencha that will be used for koicha.
Once placed the tea, the shop will seal the cap of chatsubo and will send it back to tea master who held him by until the day of robiraki when it will open the seal and will ensure the first grinding of the leaves of tencha.
In Omotesenke School the opening of the seal and the grinding takes place in private, while in Urasenke School there are specific rituals performed in front of the guests for the opening of the seal and the extraction of the leaves.

During this ceremony, the guest will understand if ask for haiken or not, viewing chatsubo: if it is placed in tokonoma with a simple closure formed by a double knotted silk drawstring at the base of the cap cover (as in the top photo) it is possible to examine it.
When chatsubo has two or more nodes similar to those in the photo below you can't ask to review it.

Once the guest will ask to examine the object, the master will pick it up from the tokonoma and set it as in the first photo of this article, free from kuchikiri (cover cap) and placed horizontally with the "mouth" towards the guests.
The first guest will take chatsubo and take his place, doing "osaki ni" to the second guest and examine one by one the two objects that later will pass between all the participants and will be back in place by the first and last guests.
In these classic technique passages is important to remember that whenever chatsubo is transported must be placed vertically and plugged with kuchikiri, while every time you watch at it or you pass it must be place horizontally and without kuchikiri.
Needless to specify that is of great technical importance  also how to rise kuchikiri and pass it from hand to hand.
As usual in all types of Haiken, you rotate the object of two quarter turns to examine it and offer it to the best side by bringing him however the utmost respect.

The upper photo shows in detail the technical passage in which the first guest observed chatsubo (and to do it rolls slightly to the left and to the right to hear the sound of the tea leaves which move inside).
In the photos below, we can however see how the master, when chatsubo is being reported, places it inside the bag (still be holding the palm of the hand under the base to ensure stability) and transporting it through the  handles until the threshold of the door where, with it, will do "sorè" (bowing ritual) before to leave.

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