Tea Ceremony

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Tea Ceremony

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:11 pm

Cherry_Blossoms

Have any of you guys ever been to any of the tea ceremonies held at the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego? :coy:

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Re: Tea Ceremony

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:12 pm

Sumiregusa

I understand! :) I have an English friend who is uncomfortable kneeling, and to remedy this i made her a special pillow to lift her ankles, therefore spreading her weight more equally. I would reccomend this to you; a cheese block shaped pillow. A good hostess will put the comfort of her guests first, and therefore not be offended by you to bring your own pillow.

You would probably enjoy Chakai, i think, as they are not too long. They last probably an hour or so, or prehaps a little longer. It is a good way to learn for beginners. However if you have a problem with sitting for too long, i suspect you should not attempt Chaji ceremony until you are comfortable or proficient at kneeling.

The longest Chaji i attended continued for a little under 6 hours and was (in my oppinion) uncomforatble and much hard work. However, it is much more wonderful to partake as opposed to hosting, and i can understand the wonder of observing, as i still feel this beauty when my Grandmother is Hostess. :)

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Re: Tea Ceremony

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:12 pm

buyoka

There's also a tiny, tiny bench, called an aibiki (or ibiki) that you can put under your rear end to keep it off your ankles. That might not help the knees, though.

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Re: Tea Ceremony

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:13 pm

Tentomushi

Even if full course chaji takes several hours, it doesn't mean you have to sit in seiza all the time. Firstly, there will be breaks: between the meal and the tea (which means going out to the garden) and perhaps between thick and thin tea. Or the host might continue from thick to thin without rearranging the room etc. as a form of "shortcut". This is called "Tsuzuki-usu" (lit. "continuing to thin") and is required at some types of chaji.

Plus, unless this is a super-formal gathering, you will be forgiven for sitting in a more relaxed way if you meet several not-so-difficult conditions. Please note, that what I am saying is based on loose directions from my teacher and my own little experience with guests who are not used to seiza.

First, sit formally when you are bowing. There is probably no way to bow elegantly with crossed legs etc. Then, try to sit in seiza at the beginning of temae which requires most concentration, of guests, too. After the first guest has had their tea, the atmosphere loosens a lot and it is a good moment to change position to a more relaxed one. If you cannot make that long, it might be better to change position swiftly and noiselessly earlier than making a lot of fuss about it later. Also try to sit in a not-too-careless way when you are holding some items (e.g. those that are sent out to be viewed, or as they say, haikened).

As you can see those really important times take only seconds (bowing mainly). Apart from that you can sit any way you like provided that you don't stretch your legs towards the front (it's like putting your legs on the table) and don't lean against the walls. The later thing is hard to explain but it really doesn't look neat.

And I believe that bringing your own litle pillow is much more polite towards the host than throwing him/her into a sudden frenzy of searching for something for you to sit comfortably on, when you announce your seiza difficulties only after arrival.

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