April 27, 2011

Tsurigama hanging kettle

Continued from the previous post, I'd like to write a few thing about the Tsurigama.

The Tsurigama or hanging kettle is a rare item usually used just before the Ro sunken hearth is closed to welcome the Furo for the summer season. 

The Tsurigama is a slightly narrower kettle which is hung from a chain exactly above the Ro charcoal pit. The Kan rings are different from those used when removing a normal Kama from the fire. The chain, the rings, and the handle are available fro reasonable prizes to extremely expensive sets with a name made by famous smiths and come in their own box.

 Using it during Temae is not very different from a normal Kama except when the charcoal is changed. Then we need a few extra movements to be able to remove hanging kettle from the chain and place the Kama on the Kamashiki.

Tabidansu Portable utensil box

Our second Keiko in April came with a very pleasant surprise. Upon entering the tea room to pay a visit to the Tokonoma and the hanging scroll, there was a brand new Tabidansu in the Temae corner. Even while observing the hanging scroll and seasonal flowers, I couldn’t help peeking at the Tabidansu. Moving on to view the Kama, I realized it was a Tsurigama (hanging Kama) and the two fairly rare utensils got me really excited. My Sensei could see the excitement in my eyes and explained how she obtained the Tabidansu and that we could use it to perform various variations of the tea ceremony.

The Tabidansu is a portable or travelling box used to store the basic tea utensils when planning a tea gathering outside or in location other than your own home or regular tea room. The Tabidansu has room for a Mizusashi, Hishaku, Futa-oki, Chawan, Natsume, Chasen, various linen cloths, a Chashaku, and a Kensui.
 The first shelf from below can be removed to place the Natsume and Chasen when performing outside in nature where the surface is not flat.
At the beginning of a tea ceremony with a Tabidansu, the front is closed and will be removed after the ceremony has started and is placed on the left side.