小笠原流日本のしきたり


I drew this diagram for you to illustrate the simplicity of kamiza and shimoza, but then I realized the only camera I had the rather shoddy one my phone…

Beautiful Deportment 14
The Upper and Lower Seat in a Japanese Room

From ancient times, we have considered the kamiza (upper seat) and shimoza (lower seat). It is not unconditionally established whether the kamiza and shimoza are left or right. It changes depending on the time, location, and people.

  • In Japan, the side of the sunrise while facing south is the kamiza.

There is the saying: With the Emperor sitting at the North Star, it is ranked from the east facing south. It means that the Emperor is at the highest seat, sitting so the north star can be seen above him. Because the ranks are aligned from the East while facing south, the East is kamiza and the West is shimoza.

Usually in Japan, the exact center is the first ranked seat. Next, in rank is the East when facing south which is where the sun rises, and then below that is in the West, where the sun sets. The East when facing South is left, and the West is right. So left is kamiza, and right is shimoza. Because this left and right direction is judged by looking at it from the perspective of the kamiza, if you are looking at it from the shimoza, the left becames the right side and the right becomes the left side. (In Western countries, South facing East is the higher rank and north is the lower rank).

That the kamiza is on the right while looking at it from shimoza can be seen in how the hina matsuri dolls are displayed. Looking at it, the male doll (the prince), the Minister of the Left, the Sakura, and the lady-in-waiting carrying the long-handled decanter are on the right. Also, this is same as when one passes another person when walking and you keep to the left, leaving the right side–the kamiza–open. In China, there were periods of “esteeming the left, esteeming the right (Shousa, Shouyuu)” depending on the age. The Tang and Song periods, by which Japan was much influenced, were ages that esteemed the left. The word “demotion (lit. moving-left)”, meaning there is no leaving from the right, is from the Six-Dynasties Warring Period, which esteemed the right side.

In a washitsu, the kamiza is in front of the tokonoma and shimoza is the seat nearest the door. When seating many people, the first seat is in front of the tokonoma. The second seat is the right side when facing the tokonoma and the third seat is the left side. This is in the case of a hongatte (standard) room. In the case of a gyakugatte (reversed) room, the second seat is reversed with the third.

美しい立ち居振る舞い⑭
日本間の上座と下座

古来、上座下座という考えがあります。上座下座は一概に左、右という決め方ができません。時・所・相手により変わることがあります。

●日本では南を向いて陽の出づる方角が上座になる

『天子北辰に座し、南面して東に位す』という言葉があります。最高位にある天子は、北極星(北辰)を上に見るように座り、南を向かいて東側に位置するということから、東が上座で西側が下座になるということです。
一般的に日本では、正中を第一位として、次いで南を向いて陽が出づる方角である東を上位、日が入る西が下位としています。南を向いて東は左、西は右となりますので、左が上座、右が下座となります。この左、右というのは、上座から見た位置ですので、下座から見れば左は向かって右側、右は向かって左側になります(西洋では東を向いて南を上位、北を下位としています。
この、下座から向かって右が上座というのは雛飾りにも表れます。男雛(親王雛)、左大臣、櫻、長柄の銚子を持った官女が向かって右に位置します。また道を歩いていて人と行き逢う場合も上座である右を開けて左に避けるのも同じです。中国では、時代によって尚左尚右(左を尊び・右を尊ぶ)の時代があり、日本に多くの影響を与えた唐・宋の時代は尚左の時代でした。左遷、右に出るものはいない、というような言葉は、六朝の戦乱時代、尚右の時代にできた言葉になります。
和室では、床の間の前が上座、入り口に近い方が下座になります。大勢で座場合には、床の間の前が第一位に、向かって右側が第二位、向かって左側が第三位となります。これは床の間の造りが本勝手(中央の床の両脇に脇床があるのが正式ですが、床と脇床が一つの場合、向かって右に床があるのを本勝手、向かって左にがあるのを逆勝手といいます)の場合で、逆勝手の場合には第二位以下が逆になります。

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Handling Japanese Tableware

The Place Setting of a Japanese Meal
The main tray has 1 type of soup and two types of side dishes. The rice is placed at the near left, the soup is at the near right. Generally, above the rice is the deep dish, and above the soup is the flat dish. The footed dish is placed in the center of the tray.

Handling Lids (In the Case of a Rice Bowl’s Lid)

  1. Hold the foot of the lid by sandwiching it between the pointer finger and thumb of your left hand. Support the other side of the foot with your two remaining fingers.
  2. Open the lid by lifting the rim closest to you first, and so the rim is facing upward.
  3. Bring it back to above your knees, support it with your right hand, and fix your grip so the lid is facing up.
  4. Place it under the tray on the left side near where the rice bowl is.

和食器の扱い

和食の配膳
本膳は、汁が1種類、菜が2種類のものです。手前の左に飯、右に汁を置きます。飯の向こうに坪皿、汁の向こうに平皿が原則です。膳の中央に高杯を置きます。

蓋の扱い(飯椀の蓋の場合)
①左手の一指し指と親指で蓋の糸底を挟んで持つ。残る2指は糸底の向こうに添える。
②手前から向こうに蓋を迎向けて開け、縁に沿って廻し上向きにする。
③膝元に引き寄せて右手を添え、上向きに持ち直す。
④左側にある飯椀の近くの膳の下に置く。

I am getting hungry for some takuan

Ettiquette of Japanese-Style Meals 2
How to Eat Washoku
When eating washoku, avoid continuing to eat only rice, or only side dishes, but eat rice, soup, rice, and then a side dish.

The Order of Eating Washoku
How one eats washoku has a certain sequence. First, take the chopstick in the right, take the rice bowl in the left hand, eat two bites of rice, and return it to the tray. Next, while holding the chopsticks in the right hand, take the soup bowl, and drink some brothe. Eat some ingredients of the soup, then after drinking some brothe again, return it to the tray. After eating rice again, eat the side dish to the far side of the rice. In the same manner, after eating rice, soup, and more rice, eat the dish to the far side of the soup.
To eat something along with a sauce such as sashimi, hold the sauce dish in the left hand, and eat holding it over your knees. If there is a dish with a variety of vegetables and fish, after eating rice, first the vegetables are eaten, and then the fish is eaten. This is out of a concern to avoid a lingering scent of the previous dish. Avoid eating side dishes without eating rice, also eating side dishes straight from the soup, and continuously eating the same side dish. Rather, eat rice, soup, rice, and then a side dish.

Having Seconds During Washoku
Other than at the end of the meal, make sure not eat rice after pouring hot water or tea over it. Also, make sure not to eat by scooping up rice that hasn’t hot water or tea poured over it. Of course, eat everything to the last bite. In washoku, pick up the dishes of soup or things that drip broth, and eat. If there is no such saucer, the lid of the rice bowl or such can be substituted.
When having seconds of rice, definatly set down your chopsticks. When asking for seconds of rice, leave a little rice left over. At then end, eat so not even one grain is left over. Those carrying the meal should be careful to serve the meal on top a tray and not to stick out the hands. Make sure the rice is filled to about 80 percent and not to have a mountianous serving of the side dishes. Otherwise, be careful to avoid unsightly conduct and carelessness and endevour to avoid the discomfort of the other guests.

和食の作法②
和食のいただき方
和食をいただくときは、飯だけ、菜だけを続けて食することを避け、飯、汁、飯、菜というに食します。

和食をいただく順序
和食には食べ方の順序があります。まず右手に箸を取り、左手で飯椀を受けて飯を二口いただき、膳に戻します。次に右手に箸を持ちながら汁椀をとり、汁を吸います。実を食し、また汁を吸ってから膳に置きます。再度、飯を食した後、飯の向こうにある菜を食べます。同様に、飯、汁、飯を食してから、汁の向こうにある物をいただきます。
刺身などの汁をつけて食する物は、酢皿を左手で持ち、膝の上に持ってきてから食します。野菜類と魚肉類が付けてある場合は、飯を食してから、まず野菜類、次に魚肉類を食することとされています。これは前の物の移り香が残らないようにとの配慮からです。飯を食せずに菜だけ、また汁より菜へ移り食することや同一の菜だけを続けて食することを避け、飯、汁、飯、菜というように食します。

和食の再進
食事の終わり以外は、飯に湯茶をかけて食さないようにします。また湯茶の掛からない飯はかき込んで食さないようにします。進められたものは一口なりとも必ず食しましょう。和食では、汁物や汁の滴るものは、器を持って食べます。受け皿がない場合は、飯椀の蓋などで代用します。
飯の再進を持つ間は必ず箸を置きます。飯の再進を請う時は飯を少し残しておき、最後には一粒も残さないように食します。俯いたまま余念なく物を食す事のないようにします。通いの人は、食物の上に盆を出したり、また手を出さないよう注意します。飯は八分目、菜も山盛りにしないようにします。その他すべて醜い所作や粗忽のないように注意して、同席者に不快感を起きさせないように心掛けます。