November[Nov 2018]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

November[Nov 2018]

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

Every year when I think of November, as a practitioner of tea art, two things come to mind.

The first is that this marks the beginning of the tea ceremony’s official season, characterized by the Robiraki Tea event and the opening of a new jar of tea. It is a moment of great felicitousness, a time to show respect, and a turning point as well. At the training center in my home, the Robiraki Tea event is scheduled on the first day of disciples' training in November. Three ros are opened and I am the one responsible for lighting the coal in each ro. We celebrate the new tea season by placing purifying salt, washed rice and grated dried bonito on the ros and clapping our hands in prayer. Afterwards, we distribute sacred sake and just when the kanpai is pronounced, the coals are in a good state. The rice is heated and a pleasant and unique scent emerges from the ro. It is at this moment that we feel the joy of having completed the event as had been done in years past.

It is worth noting that in other salons of our school, we hold the same ceremony on the day we use them for the first time since the opening of the new season.

The second thing that comes to mind is the list of tasks that must be completed at the end of the year and into the new year. The months of November and December can fly by very quickly if you live carefree. As such, all activities should be done concisely while planning in the weeks and months ahead. What is most important, however, is cleaning the house. I always aspire to putting everything in order, but often I give in to laziness and tell myself it is because I am too busy. I am sure I am not the only one guilty of procrastination. So, every year, I plan to put my things in order as early as November, but every year I fail. This year I am determined to do it.