Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,

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Tea Ceremony Lesson

I had my first tea ceremony lesson yesterday!
And I can only say that my enthusiasm keept me long awake and that I want only to continue studying it!

Before the lesson, my sensei gave me my little kit. It included: the fukusa (a silk cloth for wiping utensils), a small ceremony fan, a small fork for sweets, some papers and tissues and a cute carrying purse-case for all of those things. The fukusa is orange with a bold golden flower design on it - the fan is red with golden bamboo, and the carrying case is a checkered golden and orange base design with mini designs scattered in embroidery. They are very cute and bright and genki and I love them!

Then we started the lesson with a quick overview of how to enter a room, as a guest. I totally missed out on which foot steps where so as not to cross a tatami border the wrong way, but there's time for that later. I was offered a stoll to sit on for the next hour, but I chose to practice my Japanese style sitting! I actually managed it ok; though my legs were wobbly afterwards, they didn't sting! But there was a slight problem with my legs being so long that I was almost squished inside the tamatmi space where I placed my fan behind me and hands before me to bow. I am only 5'4", but I am still all tall and big for them!

The next lesson was how to accept a teabowl, drink the tea, and admire the bowl. I have done it before, but I am very clumsy and my posture was off.

Next, I learned the three types of bowing: formal, semiformal and informal. It is actually really difficult to do them right!

Finally, I learned how to fold the fukusa/cloth. That was really tricky, but I am going to practice a lot!

Some of the interesting tidbits were:
-when taking a hold of the teabowl, your hand should not be flat against the cup, but round like the moon, tsuki, from the thumb along the fingers.
-when folding the fukusa in half at a certain point, you make an imaginary kanji "ichi" (one) along the top and then fold it over.
-when wiping the top of the tea container, you draw an imaginary "ko" kana - you wipe the upper half and then the lower half of the lid.

I thought those little bits were kind of interesting.

I couldn't help thinking, though, that I was taking viola again - because my teacher for that and then for tea were putting my arm in the right place/at the right angle. ^_^

Well, I don't know if that was interesting or not, but I had a lot of fun! I can't wait to learn more ^___^

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