Chapter Number One: Seiza is Not the Only Proper Way (Part 3)

My Naive Question About Seiza

Currently, we practice the tea procedure of Sekishuu style tea in seiza the same as the other schools. Even when attending a tea meeting organized by the teachers of the area, I have never seen tea done in a position other than seiza. Since a tea procedure can take a long time, often stretching close to an hour, everyone has their feet fall asleep when practicing, so it is even trying to stand that their feet will not move. This author has experienced this himself countless times.
Since the movements the temae already has itself are good, it might be that when participating in a tea seating as a guest, it is rather difficult for the feet one seated on. Occasionally, when I have at times been present in the seat of honour, I have told “dozou ohira ni” and been advised to relax my sitting position. For men, relaxing their position to agura (cross-legged) is not difficult because they wear hakama. But women, wearing kimono, can’t easily relax thier position. Attending a chaji and kaseki meal together, it is not rare to have to sit in seiza for three hours. Because of this, an elderly person doesn’t have such a kind chat as “my feet fell asleep”, but rather the knee joint becomes impaired and people give up on practicing tea are not a few.
As I advanced in my practice, it soon occured to me that I wanted to try and read the books written by the founder. When I perused the one volumn of the “Sekishuu Sanbyaku Kajou” that I received from the oiemoto, the first naive question that rose was about the feeling that one musn’t relax one’s position even enduring any pain in the knees, since wasn’t it that seiza was not the original position for chanoyu?
Doan, who felt the correct form of tatehiza obstructed a corpulent stomache should not be done, relaxed the form and went to a more convenient version of tatehiza. After that, even if one’s feet fall asleep, even if one’s knee joints are impaired, the idea became that “it is proper etiquette to not relax from seiza”. I am afraid that I have to say that the strong feeling in the age of Rikyu and Sekishuu was different.