The Rikyu Shiribukura Chaire

The Rikyu Shiribukura Chaire

About the Chabako
In the Nanbouroku, when Rikyuu Kouji held the outdoor chakai at Daizen-ji Temple, he used an shiribukura chaire placed within a chabako, and it is thought that this was the beginning of the chabako. Rikyuu type boxes are made from plain pawlownia. There are various sizes, but Sotan-favoured boxes are done in crimson lacquered ikkanbari. At that time, chabako were also called cha-bentou. Since it is no more than a portable set of tea utensils for making a cup of tea once your destination is reached, it can be used in a sitting room, a garden, or in the wilderness.

In the Spring of Kaei 7, Gengensai the 11th Urasenke head created the Snow, Moon, and Flower procedures on the event of his trip to Ise, which was the start of the modern chabako temae. Tantansai the 14th Urasenke head added the Wakei and Shikishi procedures.

Gengensai, who hoped for procedures that expressed the seasons, after thinking of the Snow, Moon, and Flower temae, created a temae for summer. On an early summer’s evening at Housensai, He noticed the white duetzia blooming the front garden. Thus the summer temae was named the deutzia (unohana) temae. This deutzia temae should also be called the hirademae of the chabako. Since the treatment of the utensils is simple, those who are beginning to learn the chabako should first accustom themselves to it.

With the Wakei temae, Tantansai tried to avoid complicated utensils and simplify the temae, so that anyone can easily enjoy doing this temae. The shikishi temae used an imperial basket(gosho-kago) that was favoured by Enosai the 13th. This temae uses several kobukusa together with a chakin box, which when arranged looks just like stationary (shikishi) scattered across the floor. So this temae was called the shikishi temae.

Translator’s Notes:
*Snow, Moon, Flower (Setsugekka or Yuki-Tsuki-Hana): These natural phenomena are often grouped together, signifying the Winter, Autumn, and Spring respectively.

*Shiribukura: A Chinese chaire which has rounded shoulders and whose body swells (bukura) out towards the bottom (shiri). The one owned by Rikyuu is 2 sun (6 cm) high. The body is 2 sun and 1 bu (6.4cm) to 2 sun 2 bu (6.7cm) in diameter. The mouth is 9 bu (2.7cm) in diameter. The bottom is 9 bu in diameter. The lid is 1 bu (0.3cm) high, the shoulder’s width is 1 bu 5 rin (0.5cm). And it weighs 19 monme (71.3g).