Fate[jul 2013]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

Fate[Jul 2013]

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

It is now summer in Japan where every day feels like the whole country is on fire.
Until recently the temperature was very unpredictable.

This climate seems to have an impact first on plants. In tea ceremony, tea flowers used to decorate the alcove cannot be the same flowers used to represent the season, which makes preparations for each tea ceremony quite troublesome.

On May 6th there was an event involving Enshu in Kanazawa prefecture. It was picked up as news in the Enshu-magazine previously and the graves of the relatives of the founding ancestors of Enshu were discovered in Noda Mountain in Kanazawa city and a ceremony was held.
One of the relatives of Enshu is the second son of Kobori Samanosuke Masaharu (vice-minister of Left Division of Bureau of Horses), Magobei , Enshu’s youngest brother who took over Enshu’s work related to architecture.

In Enshu’s lifetime, Samanosuke always accompanied Enshu whenever he went to teach tea ceremony to the third master Toshitsune and Mitsutaka of the Maeda family of Kaga Province. He also contributed to Urasenke (a different school of tea ceremony) when Sensou Soushitsu was a white officer in the family of Maeda. His second son, Magobei, also served the Maeda family.

Another relative of Enshu is the son of Enshu’s daughter, Shinjyurou, who was later adopted by Enshu to be his son and served the Maeda family. He worked mainly as master Maeda's bodyguard. The relation with the family of Kobori which was started from Enshu was important to the Maeda family in Kaga province.

The graves of these two and their descendants were discovered and my pupils in Kanazawa affiliate renovated the graves. Afterwards, the 'Preservation Association of Monuments of the Enshu Family’ was established. I was invited to the ceremony and gave a speech and also conducted a tea ceremony which was attended by 400 people.

On that day, the fifteenth master of the leading chief retainer of the Maeda family, Honda Masamitsu, joined us for a whole day and became a chairman of the association.

We held the ceremony at the Kanazawa new grand hotel which was built on the site of the house of Shinjyurou. Thanks to our relationship of more than 400 years, I was able to rear a monument.

Enshu had a network significantly wider than other tea masters in the Edo era and, fortunately for the fact that he lived after the tumultuous Sengoku period, there are many things related to him that still remain. So it is a great honor to be able to find something related to him for us who study his tea ceremony.