How do you handle the station bell (ekirei/barei) futaoki and spear sheath (yari no saya) kensui?


One of my students has gone and acquired a set of ekirei futaoki and yari no say kensui. I think they are wonderful. Problem is, we don’t use the yari no saya kensui or the seven historical kensui in the Ueda Soko Ryu!!!

Not one to be a dampener, I’d like to develop a way to handle these two dogu based on the fundamentals of the Ueda Ryu.

In order to develop a way of handling for the Ueda Ryu, I would like to hear how other Schools handle these two dogu together. From blogs, I have seen both Urasenke and Omotesenke use the ekire/barei futaoki and the yari no saya kensui. Any information on how they are handled would be greatly appreciated, and fascinating for me and my Ueda Ryu students. 



As a note of interest, the seven historical futaoki are used in the Ueda Ryu (actually there are nine, not seven, but still called ‘seven’). However they are never used in the hirademae or such lower temaes. Always with a daisu, nagaita or kuwakojoku stand that allows one to display the futaoki. These futaoki are never placed in the kensui for Ueda Ryu.

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Great Answer

The handling of these in the Urasenke tradition is somewhat difficult to describe in words, but I’ll give it a shot since there are no other answers.

  • As in the picture above the handle of the hishaku is inserted into the ekirei and hangs inside the kensui.
  • The kensui is carried from the top with the thumb at about 4 o’clock and the fingers between 9 and 12 o’clock (index finger close to 12 and the little finger close to 9). The kensui is carried close to the side of the leg with the hand (and the kensui) hanging straight down from the wrist.
  • Once seated one picks up the hishaku and the ekirei by grasping the hishaku handle and the ekirei together with the left hand. the thumb inserted from the bottom into the hole in the ekirei and the fingers placed against the hishaku handle on the top side of the ekirei, binding the handle in the ekirei. Bring the hishaku to kagamibishaku.
  • Rehold the hishaku by placing the right thumb in the hole (replacing the left) and the fingers of the right hand above the ekirei gripping the handle of the hishaku, and regrasp the hishaku handle above the ekirei with the left hand. This requires a little dexterity to make the gesture smooth.
  • Loosen the grip of the right hand and slide the ekirei down and off the handle.
  • Place the ekirei in the appropriate spot and proceed as usual.

Hope this is clear enough to help.

  • Adam Sōmu
    Thank you very much, sastalnaker! This help very much. After doing this at keiko a few times with my student, we are curious as to how Urasenke takes the ekirei and kensui out of the chashitsu after placing the natsume and chashaku out for haiken. If you could lend these further points, we would be very grateful.
  • sastalnaker
    Hi Adam, Urasenke removes them from the room in the same manner as other futaoki with the exception that the kensui is held from the top as it was carried in. The hishaku is held parallel to the floor and the shoulders by the right hand just above the fushi using the last two fingers, and the futaoki is held below the fushi by the thumb and first two finger. In other words there is no special method for taking them out of the room.
  • Katie Bechtold
    Since in Urasenke the ekirei futaoki can only be used in temae where a tana is in use, this futaoki is displayed on the tana (along with the hishaku) instead of being carried out of the room with the kensui. If a tana is not being used, a node-less bamboo futaoki is used with the yari-no-saya kensui and handled similarly except that it is removed from the chashitsu at the end in the manner described by sastalnaker.
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