Using Hirakensui with Kuwakojoku

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When one is using a hirakensui with kuwakojoku, where do the kensui, hishaku, and futaoki start and end at the beginning and end of koicha and usucha temae? My Midorikai notes indicate that after koicha temae, the hishaku is between the left pillars with the cup facing downward against the left rear pillar, the futaoki is on the nakadana at the tip of the hishaku, and the kensui is on the ji-ita with the futaoki in the center (which contradicts it being on the nakadana). My notes say that after usucha temae, the hishaku is in that same position, the futaoki is on the nakadana at the tip of the hishaku, and the natsume is on the ten-ita. (The kensui is no longer there?) I suspect something got jumbled up when I was taking these notes, and since I’ve just acquired a kuwakojoku and hirakensui, I’m eager to learn how to use them together, and I’d appreciate any other notes on how the temaes flow when using them.

  • fukuda
    Dear Katie, just a small comment as kuwakojoku is one of my favorite tanas. Well, in both usu and koicha the futaoki is always in the kensui at the beginning but one small detail at the start and end of the temae is that the kensui is very slightly out of the ji-ita allowing the guest to have a glimpse of the futaoki when doing the haiken of the temaeza. When the temae finishes you put the kensui in the center so as the guest – especially if you do Sôkazari of the chawan and natsume – does not see the dirty water of the kensui. Best regards, Fukuda (Urasenke)
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Hi Katie

Though I am not of Urasenke, I think I can help out based on shared fundamental concepts of temae. I am of the Ueda Ryū, the founder of which learnt from Rikyu and Oribe. The kuwakojoku is used in what seems a similar way across schools, going by your notes.

After koicha it makes sense to return the kensui to the ji-ita and display the futaoki on the middle shelf just to the right of the bottom tip of the hishaku. This is because the kensui is now ‘dirty’ after use in the temae and the futaoki should not be replaced into a dirty kensui (even though you tip out the kensui water and can wipe it in the mizuya in the later stages of the temae).

Then at the end of the chaji you can leave the kensui in the mizuya. This opens up the ji-ita and displaying the futaoki here instead of on the middle shelf gives aesthetic balance.

Therefore, at the start of koicha (in the flow of a chaji) you’ll have:

Starting koicha

  • hishaku resting on left pillars of the tana
  • kensui with futaoki inside on the ji-ita

Starting usucha:

  • hishaku resting on left pillars of the tana
  • futaoki displayed on the middle shelf just to the right of the bottom tip of the hishaku
  • kensui on the ji-ita

Conclusion of the chaji:

  • hishaku resting on left pillars of the tana
  • futaoki displayed on ji-ita
  • kensui not displayed

I think your notes are logically correct. Have fun with your new tana and hirakensui!

  • JOHN LEON LARISSOU
    In Omotesenke we would never place the kensui in the tana before koicha as the chaire in front would get in the way of taking it out requiring some extra steps. Before usucha would work as it would save one trip to the mizuya and after usucha it allows the guests to view the futaoki, though on the tana top works better. Whatever works for you.
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