When I visited Warsaw I was inspired by my teachers story of dairo to try gyakugate again. I rearranged my room, having
made two cuts for the RO it was quite easy. Just had to lift up all the tatamis and shift things about. After five minutes my room was all changed.
It was strange sitting on the opposit side of the room. One of the first things I notice was that the room has much less “decorations” on one half than the other. The part which the host usually can see is quite decorated with the tokonoma, a window, and some white birch pillars. While the wall to the left and in front of the host is just a plain wall with only one small window between them. I had not thought about this before I was looking at the room from gyakugate perspective. Neither was it planed that way.
The thing is that what I can see from the gyakugate temae-za is much the same that the guests will se in a regular temae. So in other words I have made a room in which I’m forcing the guest to sit with their back to the most interesting part of the room. This is something I should take in to consideration if I’m ever designing a new tea room.
It was a bit of a mental challenge to remember all the different things that changes during gyakugate. It does not help that it has been 7-8 years since I last did it. After a few attempts I feel I got the hang of it again. I should probably do this at least one week every year. It would be nice to try it in February. Since that is the dairo-month and dairo is always gyakugate.
According to one of my senpai having the guest on the left side used to be the regular style, and it was Rikyu that wanted to be different and had everybody on the right side. Not sure if it is true, but it is a funny thought non the less.