Seasons[April 2016]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

Seasons[April 2016]

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

When April comes, the landscape of my garden begins to fill with the colors of spring. Each year, between late February and early March, we sweep up the pine tree leaves that cover the soil in my garden. In the days following, the ground appears a little uneven and is scattered with moss. But little by little the moss begins to cover the whole ground and the light green color fills in the gaps between the stones on in the pavement. When you look up, you can see flower buds in the trees which are also beginning to grow leaves.

Thus, our environment shows us on a daily basis how the season changes. As Japanese we can be proud that we are able to incorporate this constant change into our daily lives.

It must not be forgotten that the art of tea ceremony attaches great importance to this philosophy and continues to do so today. This could be described as having a ‘sense of seasonality’ and while it sounds simple, it is not easy to integrate into tea ceremony in a relevant way.

Speaking of a sense of seasonality, while the height of the season is most important, there are other ways to sense a season, whether with anticipation, a sense of nostalgia or upon return to something, the Japanese can sense seasonality in a variety of different ways.

When I prepare for a tea ceremony, I plan in such a way that the combination of utensils and food menu reflect all these elements. I feel that this mindset continues to grow in me year on year. I do not know why and how I have come to have this mindset. But one explanation I can give is that I am concerned about what is happening around Japan and the environmental damage caused by the world and I want to pass down to future generations that which is gradually being lost in the art of tea ceremony.

Finally, the magazine "Enshu" is undergoing a renewal starting this June and I hope you enjoy the change.