Tea Ceremony and Fortune-telling:
“Spring’s Start and the Tiger” and “Well Shining Water”. (Part 4- Last)
By Souchuu Sekine

Also, the Nambouroku’s Metsugo talks about Seikasui.

“So, the heating fire’s condition is called the tiger’s fire condition. Namely this is ised not later than the morning meeting. Before Hour of the Tiger, take and clean the bottom used in the hearth center from the evening. Renew the kettle filled with Seikasui. Place one piece of charcoal (in the hearth) and hang in the water kettle.”

As for the heating fire’s condition being the tiger’s fire’s condition, it is “Seikasui drawn at the hour of the tiger”. It is in the Namboroku’s Memorandum that “Dawn” and “Bird’s calling” are indicating the Hour of the Tiger. In tea ceremony, using water drawn up from the well at the Hour of the Tiger–in short the hour from 3 AM to 5 AM when the yang spirit goes and increases–is considered crucial. With this water, which has in full a sentiment of vitality of this yang, we whisk tea. This water is called “Seikasui”.

In this way, the hot water’s condition due to the charcoal (fire) and water and drawing water at dawn, namely the Hour of the Tiger, is the “the tea room’s method (important standard)”, which a tea person should follow.

The first rule of Rikyu’s seven rules is “Make a delicious bowl of tea”. Can we probably perceive how this extremely self-evident proposition is from the standpoint of fortunetelling? For Tea Ceremony and the host, regarding making and the guest being treated to delicious tea is extremely crucial. So, even whatever set of famous utensils are had, without one cup of good tea, it has no meaning.

For this the host, practises the second rule of Rikyu’s Seven Rules “Lay the charcoal so the water boils”. First, start by performing the fire and water’s treatment at the Hour of the Tiger. By the means of this Hour of the Tiger’s fire and water’s hot water is created. From this viewpoint, concerning in tea ceremony, the said Hour of the Tiger time has an important meaning.

Well, Why is the Hour of the Tiger highly esteem not less than to that degree? The tiger, according to fortunetelling, is the said Spring. Of the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, wood is at the start. In colour, the tiger is blue or green.

The greatest yang spirit is the time of expansion, manifestation, and impact. But about the previous issue, this matter is stated as the “springtime of life”(lit. Blue-Spring). All things, all creation is in the period of generative developing and swelling of life force. This is represented by the tiger equaling the tiger symbol. “☳☰” is in the capacity of a divination sign. The overflowing vitality is exemplified by all the trigrams advancing and turning towards to yang “☰☰”. There is this yang portion; the well water is the pure spirit’s beginning, the Hour of the Tiger’s water. For Seikasui, the tea master has this reason for appointing it (to such an important post).

However, this Seikasui that contains plentiful yang spirit nevertheless the same water still to the last has yin. The intercourse, unity, and divine response of this water with yin and the fire with yang _creates_ the correct tea ceremony’s hot water. This hot water is heated up, by the correct yang.

For such a thing called hot water for tea (Chanoyu), for tea and the tea master, hot water’s creation is almost above all else the most important matter. There is in the Nambouroku Memorandum: “Prepare the water, pick up the kindling, boil the water, whisk the tea, offer to the dead, give to the people, and also drink yourself”. Such it is said the tea ceremony’s fundamental existence. We can see the fortune telling theory of Yin Yang and the five elements’s great influence.

In fortunetelling, yang is good luck and yin is bad luck. From time immemorial, tea masters in tea ceremony begin the said hot water yang’s creation by means of the fire and water’s intercourse, unity, and divine response. In many settings, yang is symbolized. Our wish for the yang which has good luck once again directs us towards spirit.

又、『南方録』「滅後」にも井華水に就いて述べられて居る。

捻?而暁ノ火相ヲ、寅ノ火相ト云う、則ソレヲ朝会マデ二用ル、先寅ノ刻、宵ヨリツカヘタル炉中ヲ底取掃除シ、井華水ヲ汲テ釜ヲ改メ、一炭シテ水釜ニテカクル、

焼の火相を寅の火相とし、「寅の刻に井華水を汲む」と有る。『南方録』「覚書」に有る「暁」や「鳥啼テ」とは寅の刻を指して居る。茶の湯では寅の刻詰り午前三時から午前五時の陽の気の増して行く時間に井戸から汲み上げる水を使用する事が肝要とされる。此の陽を十分に含み精気有る水で御茶を点てるので有る。此の水が井華水と言われて居る。

此の様に、炭(火)と水による湯相を暁、即ち、寅の刻に行う事を「茶室ノ法(大事な規範)」とし、茶人の守るべき物として居る。

利休七則の一番目には「茶は服の良きように点て」と有るが、此の至極自明な命題を易の立場からどのように捉える事が出来るだろうか。茶の湯と亭主に取って美味しい御茶を点て、客に饗する事は最も肝要な事で有る。然し、如何に名器揃いで有ったとしても、服の良き御茶で無くては何の意味も無い。

其の為に亭主は、利休七則の二番目「炭は湯の沸くように置く」を実践する。先ず、火と水の扱いを寅の刻に行う事から始まる。其の寅の刻の火と水を以って湯を創造するので有る。従って、茶の湯にとって寅の刻と言う時間が重要な意味を持って居る。

では、何故寅の刻を其れ程迄に重要視するので有ろう。寅は易で言う春で有り、木火土金水の五行の木の始まりで有り、色では青又は緑に当たる。

最も陽気が伸長し、顕現し、震動する時で有る。前号でも述べたように青春其の物で有り、万物万象が生成発展する生命力漲る時期で有る。其れを寅=虎の象に表し、卦としては「☳☰」(震乾)で有り、全ての爻が陽「☰☰」(乾乾)に向けて進む生気溢れる事を示して居る。 此陽分が有り、清気の初めが有る井水が、寅の刻の水で有り、井華水として茶人が重用した所以で有る。

只、此井華水は陽の気を十分に含んで居ると言えども水は飽く迄も陰で有る。其陰の水と陽の火との交合、和合、感応が、正しく茶の湯の_湯を創造_する事に成る。其湯は熱せられた物で有り、正しく陽で有る。

茶の湯と呼ばれるように、湯の創造が御茶と茶人にとってまず何よりも大切な事で有る。『南方録』「覚書」に有る「水を運び、薪を取、湯を沸かし、茶を点てゝ、仏に供へ、人にも施し、吾も飲む」と言う茶の湯の基本的な在りように、陰陽や五行の易思想の大きな影響を見る事に成る。

易では陽は吉で有り、陰は凶で有る。古来、茶人は茶の湯に火と水の交合、和合、感応に依る湯と言う陽の創造を始め、多くの場面で陽を表意し、吉で有る陽を求めて居た事に改めて気付かされるので有る。

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