How do you handle one guest for koicha

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How do you handle having only one guest for koicha? Do you have the host share a bowl with the guest, or let the guest drink alone. Also if you share the bowl do you drink it from temae-za or move to a guest position? Interested in knowing how different schools handle this, so please specify school.

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There is an ‘hitori-kyaku temae’ in the Ueda Ryū.

I love this temae so much, let me post the full details here:

 

One host, one guest koicha (furo)

獨客濃茶(風炉) Hitori kyaku koicha

Overview 

  • Guest and host share the koicha
  • After the guest has one taste of the tea and the host asks ‘o-fuku kagen ikaga de gozaimasu ka’ (how is the tea?) the host asks: ‘nochihodo, o-shoban o o-negai itashimasu’ (please spare some tea so that I may join you)
  • Host does not perform the naka-jimai (interim closure of the temae). Instead the host does naka-mizu (transfers one hishaku of water into the kama after tea is served) and moves the chakin from the koita (small board) to the lid of the kama
  • Guest asks the chamei (name of the tea) and the tsume (maker) while sitting in the hearth mat, immediately after returning the chawan still atop the shikibukusa
  • Host washes the chawan with hanto-hansui (half hot, half cold water)

Temae 

  • Same as standard koicha until the guest has the first taste of the tea
  • After the guest has one taste of the tea and the host asks ‘o-fuku kagen ikaga de gozaimasu ka’ (how is the tea?) the host asks: ‘nochihodo, o-shoban o o-negai itashimasu’ (please spare some tea so that I may join you)
  • Host does not perform the naka-jimai (interim closure of the temae). Instead the host does naka-mizu (transfers one hishaku of water into the kama after tea is served) and moves the chakin from the koita (small board) to the lid of the kama

Shōban 

  • Turn from your izumai towards kyaku, 45 degrees aligned with the intersection of the tatami
  • Fold your fukusa and place to the right back of your seat, allowing space above the fukusa for the shikibukusa
  • Take out your kaichū paper and place at the left of your seat
  • Place the yatsu-giri papers on top of the kaichū in preparation for koicha
  • The guest places the chawan, still atop the shikibukusa, on the outside mat. (The same place as the host presented the chawan)
  • Guest bows after turning the chawan on the outside mat (to return the shōmen to face the host) and enquires about the chamei, tsume, okashi and okashi serving tray
  • Bow after answering the guest and say ‘o-shōban itashimasu’ (allow me to share this bowl of koicha)
  • Take the chawan with the shikibukusa and place into your mat as the guest returns to their seat
  • Take the chawan and rest in your left lap as you fold the shikibukusa with the right hand and place kari-oki above (kami) the fukusa
  • Bow to the chawan, turn once and partake of the koicha
  • Wipe the chawan with the yatsu-giri paper
  • Take the kaichū paper, return the shikibukusa into your kaichū paper and return to your kaichū (front pouch of your kimono)
  • Place your fukusa into your obi
  • Take the chawan, rest in your lap and return to the izumai
  • Greet the guest with ‘o-nomi nikū gozaimashita’ (I hope you enjoyed the tea (lit. ‘the tea was not pleasing to drink’))
  • The guest returns: ‘taihen kekkō ni chōdai itashimashita. o-chawan to shikibukusa no haiken o’ (The tea was very good. Please present the chawan and shikibukusa for viewing)
  • Wash the chawan with half-hot, half-cold water (hantō-hansui)
  • Rest the chawan in your left lap, wipe your thumb and fingers in your kaichū paper, then take the chakin with your right hand and clean the chawan (there is no need to re-squeeze or refold the chakin before cleaning the chawan)
  • Re-fold the chakin, return to the lid of the kama and draw the kensui back a little
  • Turn your seat to kyaku and present the chawan for haiken
  • Present the shikibukusa as well if the guest has asked for the shikibukusa haiken
  • Wait on an 45 degree angle facing kyaku until the guest finishes the haiken and returns the chawan
  • Guest returns the chawan and shikibukusa
  • Take the chawan, return to the izumai and place the chawan down (no need for words here, you have already made your greeting prior)
  • Purify the chasen (chasen susugi)
  • Hereafter the temae is the same as standard
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According to the Rikyu densho, even with 3 guests, koicha is made for the shokyaku alone first, then the next 2 share a bowl (a double portion).  One can still see this in “offering tea”, in which a single bowl is made for the altar.  Later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, being terrified of poisoning, insisted on suicha, reasoning that no-one would want to poison the entire gathering, including themselves.  Further, Rikyu explicitly said that if asked to share tea with the single guest, while the guest gets koicha, the host should only make usucha for themselves, simply retreating somewhat from the temae-za and turning 45 degrees to face the guest to drink. (source:  chanoyu-to-wa.tumblr.com)

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In Omotesenke there is a special temae for this situation, ikkyakuitte. It is considered natural for the host to join the guest drinking koicha. It is necessary to make minor changes in the normal practice so that all the usual things can be done.

  • Marius Frøisland
    Could you expand the answer with more details? From what position does the host drink koicha?
  • JOHN LEON LARISSOU
    OK, The host drinks from the same position as when conversing with the guests, turned 45 degrees. The host does not use the dashibukasa. Before drinking he would put it away. The guest probably would ask to see the chawan and dashibukusa. Before haiken of the chawan the guest would ask about the tea etc. When bringing the tea to the host the guest would bow just as when passing to another guest. Even if the both are men the bowl is placed on the tatami not passed hand to hand. Actually this can be done with any number of guests. Of course it seldom is. Sorry it took so long to answer. I did not know the question had been asked.
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