my tea room[Feb 2013]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

my tea room[Feb 2013]

KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )

What will spring in 2013 bring us. I imagine that many would like this year to be the one which will sweep away the feeling of stagnation that has built up in Japan over these last few years.

I purposely prepared for the first tea ceremony of the year held from January 10th in such a way that this feeling of hope would come through. Coincidentally, the theme that the emperor chose for the year was 'stand', an appropriate word to mark the beginning of something new.

I recently discovered that the word 'stand' is used in the official Enshuryu anthem:
The plentiful green shoots of an evergreen pine tree
There's a spring that everyone likes to celebrate but today's spring is unique

These two songs are particularly merry.

The first line was written by Enshu in 1628 when he had an administrative position in Japan's feudal government and was brimming with enthusiasm.

The second line was composed when Enshu spent the new year in Arima. It was written in 1636 between the first day of the new year and spring, celebrating the joy of the coming new season. This song was written on a card and preserved and was titled 'The New Year in Arima Mountain'.

1636 was a very special year for Enshu. On February 29th, the 33rd Enshu tea ceremony was held in Kurodani, on April 17th a pilgrimage was made to the shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu and on May 21st a presentation was given to celebrate the completion ceremony. Enshu turned 58 and Shukei Daizen, the man who poured tea for Tokugawa Iemitsu, was 17.

Coincidentally, this year I will turn 58 and my oldest son Masahiro turns 17. One cannot help but feel the connection with our ancestors when one considers that it was the third anniversary of my father's passing.

Finally, I composed the following song while watching the sunlight shine in through the window of my tea room onto a piece of calligraphy on the wall whilst drinking thin tea on new years day:
The soft spring light shines in on my steamy tea room