Thursday, March 24, 2016

“Chabako茶箱(ちゃばこa tea chest) Temae点前(てまえformalized manners of the tea)”

Hello! This is Murasaki Japanese Institute.
Our school teacher, Shimizu-sensei who is also an experienced tea master wrote about "Chabako Temae." Please enjoy the article.

 “Chabako” has been used for travels or tea ceremonies in the open air. The beginning of it was the portable box for tea ceremony utensils. In the Edo era, “chabako” was used frequently. However, it was used just as a portable box.

The current “temae” were designed by Gengensai, “Juichi-daime (the eleventh)” grand master of Urasenke (one of the tea ceremony schools). After him, Tantansai, “Juyon-daime (the fourteenth)” grand master added two more “temae”. There are 6 types of “chabako temae” in modern Japan, such as “(つき)moon”, “(ゆき)snow”, “(はな)flower”, “和敬(わけい)respect to peace”, “卯の花(うのはな)deutzia” and “色紙(しきし)colored paper.”
There are a lot of “temae.” However, “chabako temae” has different refinement far from the original “temae.”

Original tea ceremony starts from the state that utensils are already set. On the other hand, “teishu (a person who erves tea)”’s taking utensils out from “chabako” that stores them compactly is a process of tea ceremony in “chabako temae”. The process of taking utensils out gives guests a little bit different feelings of surprise and enjoyment from the original tea ceremony.

There are unique utensils for “chabako temae”, so let me introduce them.


We put sweets like small “konpeito(small colored sugar candy covered in gulges)” or beans in it.


We put clothes wiping teacups in it.


We put “chasen (bamboo tea whisk)” in it.

We use the above utensils. There are appropriate utensils for each of the 6 types of “chabako temae”, so we use appropriate utensils depending on the “temae”.
I explained that “chabako” was originally for outdoor. However, we often use it indoor recently, too. “Chabako” doesn’t need much space because it can restore tea utensils compactly. And it is refined. So there are a lot of people who love it, and not only experts in the tea ceremony.

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