A Collection of Tearoom Conversation: Words of the Host, Words of the Guest
by Mita Tomiko

Beginner: When Beginning to Practice Tea (Part 1)
Going to Meet the Teacher

May. In the tearoom, the hearth had become the brazier.On a morning when a fresh breeze was blowing, when I was cutting the flowers, there was a person I had never seen before.Suddenly opening the gate’s door, she said, “Hello” and entered. I thought perhaps she was a person selling something.
“Um… I heard this was a house where tea is learned and I was wondering if I could see a tea ceremony…” she said. She looked about 22 or 23 years old. She approuched me unannounced and looking at the flowers in my hand, and with an unusual gaze asked, “What flower is that?”
I, just a little shocked, looked at that face and said, “It’s a miyakowasure. Who are you? Are you from around here?”
Thereupon she said suprised, “Yes, I am Kosugi. I thought I would like to see what tea is like.”
“You would just like to watch?”
“Will watching not do?”
“If you only watch, it is studying by observation,” I said and tilted my head.
Then, two of students entered. “Teacher, good morning!” the two politely greeted me.
“Honored guest, welcome!” they also bowed to the woman. “Teacher, is it fine if we enter?”
“Please enter and make the preparations. This person said she would like to see a ceremony, so usucha hiratemae…” I said, and the students stopping in the entrance of the mizuya,
“Yes, with all our hearts,” and with a bow went and entered.
The woman guest, with an gaping expression, seeing off that appearence was amazed, “Tea is so difficult, isn’t it.” She said.
Greeting with a bow is difficult to listen one by one. Looking at the woman’s face, I said, “Not at all. For people it is a natural greeting. We are kindly giving a natural bow. Because I must put in the flowers, I must go inside. So you too please enter the tearoom,” I said, and entered the mizuya.
My students saw this, and straightaway came out. “Please, come this way,” they said and invited her into the tearoom’s entrance.
This guest said, “Is it alright to simply enter? I don’t know even a thing.”
“Please enter, and take your seat,” and my circle’s students advanced.
The okashi were brought in. One of my young students gave a bow, “Please, help yourself.”
Having put in the flowers, I turned to the guest, “Since the ceremony will start, please observe,” I said and turned to the temaeza. The usucha ceremony started. The guest was silent. Soon tea had been made.
“Did you enjoy the sweets?” I asked. She had said only watch, but on enquiring I thought she wondered how tea was, “I would like to drink tea, but I don’t know how.” My students are alright with not drinking the tea wchi was made wholeheartedly for the sake of people who would like to drink tea, so I said, “Well then, I will drink. Please observe.” And took the cup in my hand.



「あのう、お茶をやってる家と聞いたのでお茶の点前を見せてもらいたいたいと思って…」という。 年の頃、二十二か三と見える。遠慮なく私に近づいてきて、手の花を見ると、珍しげに眺めて、「何の花?」と聞く。