Tea Ceremony and Fortune-telling:
“Spring’s Start and the Tiger” and “Well Shining Water”. (Part 3)
By Souchuu Sekine

“The condition of the fire for heating water is important. This is the great secret of using three pieces of charcoal. A saying of divination: It is said that because of the condition of the heated water there is a person who boils the water from the evening; it is not that at all. When the birds sing, awake, set anew in the middle of the hearth a low fire. Place in one piece of charcoal. Then, draw clear water from the well and bring it to the kitchen. Wash the kettle, fill it to the brim with water, and place it on the hearth. This is the method for heating water everyday in the tea room.

“As for water for tea, water drawn at daybreak is used for morning, noon, and evening. Because a tea person’s heart rejects any other, he prepares so he doesn’t eradicate the water needed for tea from dawn to night. Even if there is an evening meeting, water drawn after noon is useless.
From the evening scenery to midnight, because of it’s yin characteristics, the spirit of the water has a depressing poison. As for water for heating, because it’s yang characteristics are first, the pure spirit floats. This is Seikasui. In regards to tea, since this is important water, a tea person’s caution is crucial.”

The condition of the fire for heating is an important matter. This is the important secret of three pieces of charcoal. Rikyu’s saying: it is said that because of the condition of the water for heating, there is a person to boil water from the previous day’s evening: such a thing is indisputably not so. In early morning time when birds begin to sing, awake, renew the inside of the hearth, put in a low fire, place in one piece of charcoal. Then draw clear water from well, bring it to the kitchen, wash the kettle, fill it with water, and hang it in the hearth. This is the tea room standard for doing the everyday heating of water.

Concerning water for tea, it is a matter of using stuff drawn for heating for morning, noon, and evening meetings alike. The tea master, his heart rejecting any other, prepares in advance to not run out of water for meetings from dawn to evening. For even said evening meetings, water drawn after noontime is not used. From evening to mid-night, because of yin spirit, the water’s spirit has a depressing poison. As for water for heating, it has the first portion of yang spirit; the pure spirit floats up. This is called “Well Shining Water”. As for this, in regards to tea, because it is important water, the tea person’s heart holds it a crucial matter.