Christmas Yuki

I wanted to make a movie of Yuki temae outside during the winter. I got help from my sister and brother to do the filming, and decided to give it a first try on christmas eve. We rigged a temae-za with goza and a binkake. Even has proper charcoal burning under the tetsubin.  In the hast of preparation I had forgotten to make sure that all the cameras had been fully charged. So one after another they ran out of power. Only one camera lasted through the temae. The camera that lasted was the one filiming the details so it is not possible to make a good movie.

I expected this to be a very cold temae, but it worked out nicely for everything except the toes. I managed to get the tabi wet prior to the temae, and in the wind the wet tabies did not offer much warmth.

Another important lesson is that the snow under the goza has to be packed hard and be flat. I had been a bit too slopy about it this time. The chawan kept sliding on the laquer board because it ended up on a “slope.”

I hope for more success next time, in the mean time I can share some of the frames from the movie we got.

yu1 yu2 yu3

Let there be light

After my first chakai in my Tea room, that has yet to receive a name, I was made aware that the room was a bit dark. This week I went to IKEA and bought led light. I attached a line of lights in the roof above tokonoma. It was quite a difference with these tiny lights. The images to the left is without the new light and the ones to the right are with the new lights. The images was taken with the exact same adjustments on the camera so the give a pretty accurate view of the difference.

A disadvantage with the placement is that it only brings light to the tokonoma. I need to find another solution to brighten temae-za a bit. I’m contemplating making another “window.” There is only about 7mm of space behind that wall, just enough to fit the leds. The question is will I be able to get them in there without taking the entire wall down?

Colage of light

The first Chakai

I have written many posts about the construction of the Tea-room. This saturday I held the very first chakai in my new room. In advance of that I had to make a new door, again! Still it is some way off perfect, but it works (somewhat).

Seven guests came to have Tea. I divided them into two

Second group of guests
Second group of guests

“seki” orseatings.With four in the first and three in the second. I served thin Tea, using a Tabidansu. For expedience I had a extraTea-bowls hidden in the tabidansu. That way I could start preparing the Tea for the next guest as the first guest was drinking and looking at the bowl. It worked out nicely.

In the tokonoma I had a simple flower arrangement. I wanted it to have autumn colors, but that was hard to come by. As the leaves hasn’t started changing color, and the flower shop was all about pink and white.
One thing that I became aware of was that it was a bit too dark. I should at least have a light window lower in the tokonoma wall so that the flower are illuminated. So that might be my winter project. I might do with a bit more light overall.
Along with the flower I hang my favourit scroll, Kansashite-shofu-o-kiku. Sitting quietly

Chabana from the chakai
Chabana from the chakai

listening to the wind in the pines. I love this saying, as it so fully capture what Tea means for me.

For sweets I had made koshi-an and wrapped it in a steamed dough. One of the guests fiance had thought my wife to make that dough for a Philippine dish called sipao, which reminded me a lot of the Japanese “man”. So I though it a nice sweet, but it became a bit larger than anticipated.

All in all I feel it was a successful first chakai.