Products Chanoyu

The “Raku-tei” Chanoyu

 Raku-tei – Chanoyu, as part of the Izumo-style garden series, has designed a stone wash basin (tsukubai), which is always installed in gardens in the Izumo region. A tsukubai is a piece of equipment used to enter a tea room. Tsukubai means “stone wash basin” in Japanese, and refers to the water used to wash one’s hands. The water bowl is intentionally set low so that it is not possible to use it standing up. This is a humble gesture that is appropriate for the tea ceremony. The chanoyu is a world that transcends the mundane. The kuguri or stone wash basin is considered a boundary to transcend the mundane world. The guest drinks water that the owner himself has brought into the room. It is the most solemn gesture for the guest, and the first contact between the hearts of the host and guest at a tea ceremony. Just as the dew ground is ideally designed to resemble a scene in the mountains leading to an inner temple, the stone wash basin is intended to have a secluded atmosphere, as if it were filled with water from a rock. For this reason, many tezuibachi are made of natural stone.

 The te-mizu structure is centered on the water bowl, with the front stone in front, and the yuoke and teishoku stones on the left and right. A small round stone is placed in the sea between the water bowl and the front stone to form a water gate. A lantern for a bowl light is placed next to the stone on either side of the stone.

 Such a stone wash basin is originally installed in a garden with a tea ceremony room, in other words, in a tea ceremony garden. However, in the Izumo region, they are always installed in gardens, regardless of whether there is a tea ceremony room or not. This is said to be due to the influence of Matsudaira Jirigo (1751-1818, known as Fumai), the 7th lord of the Matsudaira family, who was famous as a feudal lord tea master.

 Fumai, the lord of Matsue Castle, became lord of the domain at the age of 17. He was a masterful ruler and a rare cultured man who restored the domain to one of the richest in the country by restoring the finances that were on the verge of collapse and working to increase production. He was a master of Zen, well versed in various studies, and had a wide range of tastes in calligraphy, painting, waka poetry, haiku, and ceramics, all of which were of the highest caliber. He was especially renowned as a tea master. He criticized the tea ceremony, which had been biased toward boasting of tools and extravagance, and returned to the origin of wabicha by Sen no Rikyu. He advocated the tea ceremony that is appropriate, that cultivates the mind, and that knows insufficiency, and founded the “Ishu school of Fumai” by himself. Fumai” is his official title, after the Zen monk’s teaching of “Fufumai.

 The Honjin was used by Lord Fumai as an inn when he made a pilgrimage to Izumo-taisha Shrine. The construction of the garden, which was the height of luxury at that time, was a special one allowed only to the Honjin. In later times, when ordinary households began to have their own gardens, the gardens of the Honjin were used as a reference. Tea was served in the Honjin to entertain the lord Fumai, and stone wash basins were placed in the garden. This is the reason why every Izumo-style garden has a kuju.

In Raku-tei Chanoyu, a stone crouching basin from Izumo-style garden is set up and an Oribe lantern made of Ritsuseki stone is installed.