NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/4/17

水屋 Mizuya Mizuya

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A mizuya (literally “water room”) is the preparation area in a Chashitsu (Japanese tea house) or tea room used for tea ceremony. As its name suggests, a mizuya provides a location for performing tasks involving water, such as washing the utensils and boiling extra water for replenishing the pot in the tea room. In most cases, a mizuya is located in the adjacent space of the tea room so that the task performance will not be seen from the guest areas. If there is no such space outside the tea room, the mizuya space is partitioned by a folding screen.
The dimentions of a mizuya depends on those of the guest areas or tea ceremony schools. A typical mizuya is equipped with a traditional sink, several wooden shelves for storing tea supplies, and a furnace (large, long or round).
Since the water temperature is decisive of the tea ceremony, tasks performed in the mizuya are very important. A mizuya is the special space where a tea practitioner concentrates his/her attention on the tasks to offer hospitality to the guests. The famous tea master, Sen no Rikyu, must have worked sincerely in the mizuya with the spirit of “Ichigo Ichie” meaning every single encounter never repeats in a life time.

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