Urasenke Chado Curriculum 1
The Basics of the Way of Tea: Warigeiko
by Soshitsu Sen, Publisher: Tankosha

Knowledge of the Mizuya: The Kettle

Rikyuu Koji said, “If he has one kettle, a person can follow the way of tea”. Hanging the kettle and so on instead of having a chaji or chakai is called a country kettle. The kettle is the thing that is the heart of the way of tea, but isn’t the treatment and settlement of the kettle a treament unexpected and plain?

First, when you use an old kettle after a long time, slowly bring water to boil with a weak fire. Change it to cold water two or three times. You need to take away the smell of storage and rust. If this is not done, however famous bowl and fine quality tea you use, even using famed water, it is impossible to give satisfaction. Also, if it is a new kettle, in the same way (go) slowly and change the water to take away the metallic taste and smell of lacquer. If you don’t do this with cold water, you cannot make delicious tea. After that, when you can produce the water, well water, and tap water because recently utensil that remove the dry-wood and so on have been produced, it is possible to use delicious water. For treating the kettle, of foremost (importance) is that directly touching the kettle surface with your hands should be avoided. And when hanging the kettle in the fire it is nessiscary to use charcol fire, avoiding gas fire and briquettes. Let’s endevour to treat it well by not grudging the trouble and labor it takes.

First, set the kettle on top the drainboard in the mizuya, of course placing it on the kamasue. Next, wash the kettle’s surface completely with water, pour water into the kettle about halfway (full), and wash the inside. Empty the water out, of course using a cloth. Using the kettle rings to return the kettle should be avoided. Especially, it is unsightly to use the brass mizuya rings to return the kettle, with the rings clinging near the kettle lugs. For such kettles as those (last) used a long time ago, the hanging wash is nessicary three times. When pouring the water into the kettle, use a strainer. Be very careful so trash and stuff isn’t poured in. The amount changes according to the kettle’s shape, but as a rule, 80 percent full or to the kettle lug’s level is suitable. If it is filled with water, twist on the mizuya rings, place it temporarily on top the cloth, take the water falling from the kettle’s surface with the cloth, hang it in the hearth or brazier. Hang the kettle levelly in the middle of the hearth or brazier, and crack the lid. Use a dish cloth to wipe the kama lid too, because it is washed with water. As for the cleaning up of kettle (you) used, first, set it on the kamasue in the mizuya, and remove the rings. Next, scoop out one cupful of the kettle’s hot water with the hishaku, pour over the kettle surface, and wash away any dust or ash attached to the surface. Scoop out cold water with the hishaku, pour in to the kettle about two cupfuls, and wash the kettle surface. Take hot water in the chakin basin and empty out the kettle’s hot water. Leaving it atop the kamasue, set it upside down, and gently scrub the wash the bottom of the kettle. This time, if the kettle is an old one, use the cloth. Such a gentle beating doesn’t damage it. When you use a cut-straw brush, since the tines fall, utilize only the bottom of the base. When it has become clean, gently push it against the cloth, taking the bottom part’s dampness. From there, set the kettle atop the cloth, and gently pushing it against something like bleached cotton, because (we) don’t rub the moisture on the kettle’s surface. In the hearth that the fire was built in, slowly dry the kettle without the lid on that residual fire. If the residual fire is strong, the portion that is the inside of the bottom of the kettle can be damaged, so take caution. Also, wash the lid, gently wipe with a dish cloth, and dry in the mizuya. Before putting it into a box for safekeeping, let it dry in the shade for two or three days.

初歩の茶道 割稽古
千宗室著、  淡交社刊

水屋の心得、 釜