After learning the way of folding the cloth “fukusa” to purify tea utensils and the way of examining a bamboo tea whisk, the way of “Ryakubon” is the first “way of tea” for the beginners to learn. We place tea utensils on a circle wooden tray. It is the best way of tea for the beginners, and we can use this not only in tatami room, but also on the table or outside home sometimes.
Purify the tea utensils
Tea container(Natsume) & tea scoop (chashaku)
Fold the fukusa (red cloth in the picture) and purify the tea container, and place it down on the tray a little to the left of its original position.
Purify a bamboo tea scoop also, and place it on the right rim of the tray, pointing diagonally toward the center.
Take the tea whisk and place it to the right of center across from the tea container.
Take a white cloth and place it right of the tea bowl.
Examining a tea whisk
Close the lid of the kettle with folded fukusa and pour hot water into the teabowl.
Retrun the kettle to its original position, and place fukusa on the left edge of the tray with your right hand.
Take the tea whisk with your right hand and start purifying and examining the tea whisk.
Return the tea whisk to the original position.
Take the tea bowl with your right hand and rehold it with your left hand.
Discord the water into the container for used water(kensui).
Take the white cloth with your right hand, and wipe the tea bowl.
Rehold the tea bowl with your right hand and put it down on the tray.
Whisk powdered green tea
Take the tea scoop with your right hand.
Take the tea container with your left hand and hold it next to the left side of the tea bowl. Holding tea scoop, open the lid of the container.
Place the lid at the position the tea scoop was.
Scoop powdered green tea twice and place into the tea bowl.
Replace the lid of the tea container and return the tea scoop to the original position.
Holding down the lid with fukusa, pour hot water into the tea bowl.
Let’s whisk powdered green tea.
Turn the tea bowl twice and place it front face towards the guest.
After the empty tea bowl turns back, the host has to purify utensils again. So, it’s not finished yet, but this way is till the powdered green tea is served.
If you’d like to learn this way of tea, please feel free to ask.
I can teach you when you come to Kyoto.
You can make powdered green tea on the table at home!
We can do this “Ryakubon” way of tea everywhere in a studio apartment, a western living room etc. Of course, we can feel traditional atmosphere in tatami room using a hanging scroll of cerography, flowers, incenses, an iron kettle, a fresh water container and a tea shelf, but it’s easy to approach in the daily life even if we don’t have other special tea utensils.
If we don’t have special kettle or electric stove, we can use a thermal pot or bottle instead. As this picture shows, since I didn’t have the special stove, I had poured the hot water just before I started the way of tea and used it soon before it gets cold. I think it may be sufficient in case we make 1 or 2 bowls of tea at home.
It’s also interesting to choose tea bowls and sweets suit to each season.