Canberra Group tea demonstration at the Japanese Embassy (Friday 05 November )

The tea demonstration was part of a large reception with the theme “Sharing your experience of Japan”, in Japanese 日本の魅力発信. There were two sittings for the demonstration using misono tana provided by the Embassy. Many other implements were provided by the Embassy. 
The calligraphy on the kakejiku read “seiza ichimi no tomo” (清坐一味友)meaning when gathered in a sacred space (a tea room), friends become one by drinking tea made with the hot water from the same kettle. The sweets served on the day were otoshibumi (落とし文).
The main guests at the first sitting were Ambassador Yamagami and his wife. The main guests at the second sitting were the Canadian High Commissioner Glauser and his wife. 
Many members assisted with serving sweets and tea preparation under the direction of Kyoko sensei.


Chado is a comprehensive form of Japanese culture. You learn not only the procedure of tea preparation but also about ceramics, lacquerware, metalware, flowers, cooking, calligraphy, poetry, etc. It is a lifetime achievement to master chado or a life is not long enough for it.

We will demonstrate a traditional tea ceremony and a workshop for our guests at RYO-AN the tea house in Leura, Blue Mountains.

It will be a special experience to try and learn how to make the green matcha tea with some seasonal Japanese sweets.

All the guests will also experience to visit Japanese garden and the Shrine from ISE-JINGU* at the top of the hill.


Date: 12th December (Sunday)

Venue: Ryo-an, 19 Hartley Esplanade, Leura 2780

Time: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm

Program: 3 sessions (12 pax only per session)

                    [11:00 am/12:30 pm/13:30 pm]

Fee: $35/PP (Approximately 1 hour)


      1.   Chado demonstration; with English explanations

      2.   Workshop; Learn and try to whisk green matcha tea

      3.   Enjoy a bowl of tea with Japanese sweets





*Urasenke Sydney will donate the benefit from this event for local organization-Blue Mountains Wildplants Rescue Service Inc. as a charity organization.  

*Booking is essential (Ticket holders ONLY event)

*No children under 9 years old

*No barefoot, need to wear socks

*Need to be fully vaccinated and the proof will be required on arrival

Spring Annual Tea Gathering 2017

Tea Room in Bondi

・利休坐像画賛 ( sitting portrait of Rikyu and an excerpt from his mentor, Rev. Kokei) 
    written by Rev. Bunjou of Tofukuji-temple
・三ツ具足 ( trio of ceremonial utensils, vase, incense burner and candle stand )
・許状 ( certificates )
粽 掛花入 chimaki ( dumpling wrapped in banboo leaves ) -shaped hanging vase
露草 tsuyukusa (day flower ) and ユキノシタ yukinoshita ( strawberry geranium)
主菓子 omo-gashi ( main sweet ) in 菓子椀 kashi-wan ( individual sweet bowl )
  Otoshibumi literally means a dropped letter. There is an insect named Otoshibumi which lays eggs in a rolled leaf which looks like intentionally dropped love letter. It is like a western lady drops her handkerchief in front of a man whom she is in love.

夏の茶室 Chashitsu in summer

It was really difficult to cope summer heat before air conditioning. Chajin tried very hard to make their guests feel a little cooler by special 点前 temae and utensils .

Here are some examples ;

・名水点 Meisui-date ( serving koicha with sacred water ) Photo 2
亭主 teishu gets some special water from a sacred spring and prepares in 木地釣瓶水指 kiji tsurube mizusashi ( timber bucket ).  水指 mizusashi is  wetted as if it just comes from well and  decorated with a sacred rice-straw rope with paper. The water is served to the guests before koicha.
・平水指 Hira-mizusashi ( large and flat mizusashi ) Photo3
A large water surface make you feel cool. It is used for both 濃茶 koicha and 薄茶 usucha 点前 temae. 
There are different types of lids for it ;
大蓋 oobuta ( one piece large lid ) – The lid is leaned against 風炉先屏風 furosaki-byoubu or back of 水指 mizusashi opening.
割蓋 wari-buta ( two piece lid ) 
                        – with hinges   Set 水指 mizusashi with its slit vertical and open left side .
                        – without hinges   Set 水指 mizusashi with its slit horizontal and open front lid.
・葉蓋点前 Habuta-temae  ( usucha-temae with a leaf as mizusashi lid ) Photo4
This was made up by 玄々斎 Gengensai XI using a lacquered cylinder of basket 花入 hanaire favoured by himself as 水指 mizusashi. He picked a leaf of paper mulberry tree form the garden and put it as a lid. The lid is sprinkled with water.  Various leaves can be used if they don’t have nasty sap. After the lid is opened, the leaf is folded and put away in 建水 kensui.
・洗い茶巾 Arai-jakin ( usucha-temae with chakin floating in the water ) Photo 5
茶巾 chakin is folded triangularity and floating in the water in 茶碗 chawan. 茶杓 chashaku and 茶筅 chasen are set as usual. Before 茶筅通し chasen-tooshi, 茶巾 chakin is lifted over 茶碗 chawan to show water dripping and squeezed and folded properly.
・Use of glass ware  Photo4 and 5
In old days glass ware were very precious. They were called 義山 Giyaman and most of them were imported from Europe. 水指 mizusashi, 茶碗 chawan, 蓋置 futaoki and 薄茶器 usucha-ki are often made with glass.
・Cool looking 菓子kashi Photo 6
Jelly-type sweet is popular in summer.  Agar-agar and  葛 kuzu ( arrowroot ) starch are often used 
・ Several flowers in 籠花入 kago-hanaire ( basket vase ) Photo 7
Three, five or seven different kinds of flowers are arranged in 籠花入 kago-hanaire.
籠花入 kago-hanaire doesn’t require 薄板 usuita ( board under vase) even in 畳床 ( tokonoma with tatami ).
夏の茶室 Chashitsu in summer
Photo 2
Photo 3

* 初風炉の茶室 Tearoom for Shoburo ( first furo setting of the season )

May in Japan is a beautiful time, temperature is just right, fresh green new shootings are shining in the sun and late spring flowers such as irises, azaleas, wisterias, etc. are in flower.
In the tearoom, 炉 ro is now closed and 風炉 furo is set until the end of October.
 風炉 furo was the only water boiling device until 炉 ro was introduced by 村田珠光 MURATA Jukou in late 15th century. Before 珠光 Jukou, 風炉 furo was a part of 唐銅台子皆具 ( bronze daisu- full set ) and 切掛風炉 kirikake-buro ( type of furo on which kama sits without kama stand ). During the time of 珠光 Jukou, 武野紹鷗 TAKENO Jouou and 利休 Rikyu various types of 風炉 furo were introduced.
・Types of 風炉 furo by material
    – 土風炉 do-buro  ( earthenware furo, lacquered and polished )
        See Photo 3.
    –  唐銅風炉 karakane-buro ( bronze furo ) See Photo 4.
    –  鉄風炉 tetsu -buro ( cast iron furo  See Photo 5
    –  陶磁器の風炉 toujiki no furo  ( porcelain furo )
    – 板風炉 ita-buro ( almost a cubical timber box with openings at
                                           the top and the front and with clay linings inside )
 ・Types of 風炉 furo by formalities 
    – 真 shin ; 眉風炉 mayu-buro ( top of front opening is linked like
       eyebrow ) of 土風炉 do-buro See Photo 3.
    – 行 gyou; 土風炉 do-buro without eyebrows, 唐銅風炉 karakane-buro
       See Photo 4., brass furo, etc. 
    – 草 sou ; 鉄風炉 tetsu-buro, 陶磁器の風炉 toujiki no furo and
       板風炉 ita-buro 
 ・Types of 風炉 furo by shapes
   – 切掛風炉 kirikake-buro ( with the top opening smaller than kama and
                                                          kama sits on the opening edge without 五徳
   – 眉風炉 mayu-buro ( a kind of 土風炉 do-buro with an eyebrow like
                                                link at the top of front opening  五徳 gotoku is
                                                used. ) See Photo 3.
  – 道安風炉 Douan-buro ( with a large U-shaped opening at the front
                                                      五徳 gotoku is used .)
  – 面取風炉 mentori-buro ( a kind of 道安風炉 Douan-buro with beveled
                                                         top edge ) See Photo 4.
  – 四方風炉 yohou-buro (  rectangular furo )
  – 紅鉢風炉 benibachi-buro ( rather small porcelain furo )
  – 欠風炉 kaki-buro ( a kind of 鉄風炉 tetsu-buro with some parts
                                            missing suitable for the end of 風炉 furo season )
風炉 furo naturally becomes very hot, and a kind of board is placed under 風炉 furo  to protect tatami.
  ・Types of 敷板 shiki-ita ( boards under 風炉 furo )
    – 長板 naga-ita 
    – 半板 han-ita ( half of 長板 naga-ita in width)
    – 大板 oo-ita ( large board, about 42x42cm square )
    – 敷瓦 shiki-gawara ( porcelain board of about 30x30cm square )
       for cast iron furo. SeemPhoto 9.
    – 小板 ko-ita ( small Board, about 30x30cm square, can vary )
            荒目板 arame-ita ( black lacquered with horizontal lines, the
                                                   spaces between them becoming gradually
                                                   narrower. Wider side is the front. ) for
                                                   土風炉do-buro See Photo 6.
            掻合塗小板 kakiawase-nuri ko-ita ( black lacquered showing
                                                                                      timber grains )  for 土風炉
                                                                                      do-buro and 唐銅風炉
                                                                                      See Photo 7.
            真塗小板 shin-nuri ko-ita ( black lacquered ) for
            唐銅風炉 karakane-buro See Photo 8.
    – 丸板 maru-ita ( round black lacquered showing or
                                       not showing grains )
   ・ Combinations of 風炉 furo and 敷板 shiki-ita 
      土風炉 do-buro = 荒目板 arame-ita or 掻合塗小板 kakiawase-nuri ko-ita 
      唐銅風炉 karakane-buro = 掻合塗小板 kakiawase-nuri ko-ita or 真塗小板 shin-nuri ko-ita 
      鉄風炉 tetsu-buro = 敷瓦 shiki-gawara 
      陶磁器の風炉 toujiki no furo = 掻合塗小板 kakiawase-nuri ko-ita 
      四方風炉 yohou-buro = 丸板 maru-ita 
  ・灰形 hai-gata ( formation of sculpted ash in a furo by spoons )
   – 二文字押切 nimonji oshikiri 
      This is the most standard 灰形 hai-gata and can be used for most
       風炉 furo of different materials and shapes. See Photo 4.
  – 二文字掻上 nimonji kakiage 
     This is used only for 鉄風炉 tetsu-buro. Make 二文字押切 nimonji
      oshikiri first and draw seven, nine or eleven vertical lines.
  – 丸灰押切 marubai oshikiri 
     This is also commonly used particularly for 切掛風炉 kirikake-buro.
     The shape is lake a crater with a circular ridge. If there is 五徳 gotoku,
      make the ridge at the back of claws of gotoku.
  – 丸灰掻上 marubai kakiage 
     This is used for most of 鉄風炉 tetsu-buro. Make 丸灰押切 marubai
      oshikiri first and draw 16 or 24 radial lines from the edge of furo
      wall towards the centre leaving the space for charcoal pieces.
  – 遠山 tooyama 
     This is used for 道安風炉 Douan-buro and 面取風炉 mentori-buro.
     Make the front ridge slightly round and shape a mountain at back
     right in 風炉 furo for 本勝手 hongatte ( conventional tearoom setting
     ) and at back left for 逆勝手 gyakugatte ( opposite format tearoom setting )
  – 向山 mukouyama 
     This is used only for 中置 nakaoki. Make the front ridge slightly round
      and shape a mountain at centre back.
Photo 1 
・軸 jiku; 一行 ichigyou 「薫風自南来 」前大徳 積應老師筆                                                                           
                                         “ Kunpuu minami yori kitaru. ( Fragrant wind comes from the south. )”
                                         written by Saki no Daitoku Rev. Sekiou
・花入 hanaire; 信楽 砧 春斎造
                         Shigaraki ware mullet shape by Shunsai
・薄板 usuita ; 杉蛤端 unlacquered cedar board 
・風炉 furo ; 唐銅面取道安風炉 寛斎造
                     bronze mentori Douan-buro by Kansai
・釜 kama ; 松地紋棗釜 正芳造
                    natsume shaped kama with pine tree patterns by Seihou
・棚 tana ; 鵬雲斎大宗匠好 竹寿棚 静峰造
                  Houunsai Daisoushou favoured “ Chikuju-dana “ by Seihou
・水指 mizusashi ; 古染付葡萄棚水指写 静山造
                              replica of old sometsuke grapevine trellis mizusashi by Seizan 
・薄茶器 usucha container ; 紫陽花蒔絵中棗 龍斎塗
                                               middle sized natsume with hydrangea makie by Ryuusai
Photo 2 
主菓子 omogashi ; 「落とし文」  “ Otoshibumi ( dropped love letter )”
                                 “ otoshibumi “ itself means a kind of beetle which lays
                                    eggs in a rolled leaf. That rolled leaf looks like a scroll
                                    of letter which people used to drop in front of a
                                    person they were in love in old days before emails and
                                    even telephones. This sweet is very popular during the
                                    season when fresh new leaves are beautiful.
菓子器  kashiki; 輪島塗 真塗 縁高
                          Wajima lacquered  fuchidaka box 
                                                                                                           by Itoko Inoue