Polishing leaves


ancient tea garden -
polished leaves sparkle
in the spring sun


The entrance garden (roji 露地) to the tea ceremony house of the Yabu-no-uchi school is planted with many shrubs not flowering in any particular season, all having large green leaves of various shades. Before entertaining visitors, the master of the ceremony wipes and polishes these leaves carefully and sprinkles some with water, to create an atmosphere of purity and freshness.

This is one way of the master to show his "heart set to entertaining the visitors", motenashi no kokoro, which is a special training of the attitude of a tea master.

While the guests wait in a small hut before proceeding, the master will clean the stone handwash basin (tsukubai) in the next small garden and fill it with fresh water, thus providing the waiting guests with the sound of coolness. The waiting process gives the guests a chance to leave their everyday worries behind and clear their own minds and hearts.

Entertaining the five senses is one of the aesthetic purposes of the tea ceremony.

In the garden there is a large stepping stone with three protruding corners (三小袖石), said to be a present of Sen no Rikyu to the first master of the Yabu no Uchi tea school. The family owns a large ground in the middle of Kyoto, almost like a private forest, so you can enjoy the quietude and peaceful atmosphere of nature in their splendid surroundings.

Yabunouchi is the smallest of four great schools of tea in Japan. The others are Urasenke, Omotesenke and Musha-no-kōji.

© PHOTO Copyright 2001 NAKANE
Garden Research & Landscape Consultant

This famous water basin (tsukubai) was once part of the grave stone of the ascetic Buddhist priest Mongaku. Imagine what it must feel like to wash your hands in the momories of this place !
More about Mongaku is below.

NHK is running a four part program on this tea ceremony school.
NHK March 2007 : 五感で味わう茶の湯


Yabunouchi En'an (En An, En-An), or Swallow Hut
designed by Furuta Oribe, a relavite of the first Yabunouchi tea master.

This "hut" for the tea ceremony has many windows and is quite light and large. The ceiling is high and has another window. Your spirits are uplifted once you enter this tea room.

藪内流. やぶのうちりゅう Yabunouchi Ryuu

Click HERE to see some photos !


Mongaku (1139-1203 文覚 )
was originally a samurai, Morito Endo by name, in Kyoto serving the Imperial Guards in the late 12th century.
He fell in love with a married woman named Kesa.
She was so beautiful and charming that he wanted to marry her by all means and proposed to her. His proposal was too persistent for her to decline.

Kesa finally replied to him that she would marry him if he could kill her husband, and suggested to him that he visit Kesa's house at one designated night when the couple are asleep. Following the suggestion, Morito broke into her house the night and slain Kesa in bed.

The person he killed, however, was not the husband but Kesa herself. Kesa had given him wrong advise by design and was in bed in disguise of her husband. She had preferred death to the second marriage. Morito immediately took the tonsure for atonement and entered the temple Jingoji in Kyoto, changing the name to "Mongaku".

What made him famous was his strict and ascetic disciplines after he entered priesthood at Jingoji.
Priest Mongaku's saga often appears in the ancient stories and was dramatized into Kabuki and Noh plays.

More is here:
Priest Mongaku and Temple Fudarakuji



Tea Ceremony Saijiki 茶道の歳時記 

Oribeyaki ― Daruma of Oribe Pottery 織部焼と達磨


The ceremonie continues here

Charcoal Setting (sumi temae 炭点前)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

leaves shine
with a sprinkle of dew --
welcome spring


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .