Tea Ceremony and Fortune-telling:
“Hot Water” and Creation (Part 1)
By Souchuu Sekine

In last month’s edition, about hot water for tea ceremony, we stated the theory of time in fortune telling from the standpoint of yin and yang. As in the Classic of Tea and the Namboroku, hot water for tea ceremony is created because of water and fire– in short, the intercourse, unity, and divine response of yin and yang. Thus to this in regards to the water being used, because the seikasui in which the yang spirit increases is a thing (we) use, as far as tea ceremony is concerned, the said theory of yin and yang holding however important ranking, we can feel the sympathy of. In this month’s edition, (we will) try to consider about the fire, a thing the creation of “hot water” cannot do without.

Well, from the veiwpoint of tea culture, tea ceremony can be said to have a culture arranged with opportunities for both tea making and tea drinking. In the Nambouroku Memorandum, it says

Bring the water, take the fuel, boil the water, whisk the tea, offer to the ancestors, give to people too, and yourself also drink

It is good to think how the host’s duties in this Namboroku–“Bring the water, take the fuel, boil the water, whisk the tea”–is considered to be tea making. On the other hand, “offer to the ancestors, give to people too, and yourself also drink” is considered to be tea drinking. The same, the next poem from Rikyu’s moral poems describes an identical thing.

Tea ceremony is just merely the attainment of boiling water, whisking tea, and drinking it, (you) should know.

As for this matter, It is shown that tea ceremony surely consists of there being the two people of the host and guest. Nevertheless, in the case of tea people, everyone grasps their own personal experiences, but even compared to the guest, there is the size of the host’s role to accomplish. Thus, as for the important matter of host’s duties to accomplish, such a “merely boiling water, whisking tea” is tea making and the creation of hot water.