NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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茶筅 Chasen Chasen

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Chasen is one of the utensils of the Japanese tea ceremony. It is a bamboo whisk to mix matcha with hot water evenly in a bowl and make it foamy. There are about 120 kinds of chasen with variety of shapes, materials and the number of ears at the head. Which chasen to select depends on a school of tea ceremony or a tea master’s preference. Basically there are two kinds of chasen; Kazuho, which has thin and sparse ear at the head, is used for usucha (thin tea), while Araho, which has thick and dense ear at the head, is used for koicha (thin tea). To use a chasen in a formal manner, one holds a chawan (tea bowl) with the non-dominant hand and holds a bamboo handle of chasen with a thumb, the index finger and the middle finger of the dominant hand. Here, we can see emphasis on the formal beauty that is in common with calligraphy. Chasen is an indispensable tool for Japanese tea ceremony culture.
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薄茶器 Usuchaki Usuchaki

Jp En

Japanese tea used for tea ceremonies is called “matcha,” and there are two types of matcha; koicha (thick tea) and usucha (thin tea). Usucha is put in a container called “usuchaki,” while koicha in “koichaki.” In the ancient times, koicha was mainly used for tea ceremonies, but later in the 16th century, when Wabi-cha (the tea ceremony that emphasizes on simplicity) became popular, usucha began to be favored due to its plain taste and moderate price.
Natsume is a typical tea container for usucha. Natsume may be made of wood, lacquer over layers of paper, ceramic or metal. The designs also vary from the unpatterned to the ones with colorful pictures of the season. Natsume is selected in accordance with other equipments.
As natsume is simple in shape, the craftsmen’s conscience as well as the appearance quality decides the excellence of the work. It is a most suitable item for the modest atmosphere of the tea ceremony.
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