What are the rules for using fukusa to remove kama lid?

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What are the rules for using fukusa to remove kama lid? Is there any occasion that you have to use it, or is it all dependent on need? I’m interested primarily in the rules for Urasenke.

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I think women always use the fukusa to remove kama lid. For men, the rule is that you only use fukusa when the futa has a silver or gold knob (since those metals are supposed to heat up more than bronze, I think). But my teacher lets the men in our class use fukusa to open the kama whenever the lid is too hot, even if the knob is bronze. Of course this requires testing the lid first, which might not be so elegant in chaji. In that case, if in doubt, maybe you could just use the fukusa? But that last part is just my guess.

I can think of one exception when women (and men) do not use a fukusa to open the kama lid. When you do a version of sumi-demae that requires you to fill up the kama with a mizutsugi near the end of the temae, you use the chakin to open the kama at that point.

  • fukuda
    In Urasenke as well, I had the same experience. When I ‘had’ to stop using fukusa because of my age, my teacher who was the head of one of the Urasenke Liaison Offices abroad told me to use the chakin, especially when the lid is a tomobuta, also made of cast iron. For the flow of the temae, I personally think it makes sense, since you remove the lid and place in the futaoki and usually when the lid is hottest is when you first open the kama, and the following move is to place the chakin on it – so it seems a natural move opening it with the chakin and placing it on the lid right away.
  • Helena
    Could you explain about having to stop using the fukusa because of your age? Shouldn’t people of a certain age use the fukusa? And if so, why?
  • Tea Meditation
    Fukuda-san, did you mean No…ri sensei ?
  • fukuda
    Dear Helena san, there was no ‘age’rule, but since I began studying tea at age 5, even to close the tetsubin lid, the teachers would tell us to use the fukusa. I think it was around when I was 12 or 13, my sensei instructed me to use the fukusa in normal way for men. Dear Tea Meditation san, no, it was the head of the Brazil Liaison Office.
  • JOHN LEON LARISSOU
    In Omotesenke like Urasenke women can always use the fukusa to open the kama except during sumitemae when they use the chakin. This is done diffently than Urasenke in that the fukusa is first placed on the tatami. For men it is done similarly to Urasenke except the only time it is required is when the lid and knob are one piece usually of iron. For the tsuri gama, if it has a ring in the knob, you do not use the fukusa.
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I recall one Omote-senke teacher telling me to use the chakin to remove the kama lid if the knob was too hot instead of the fukusa (which she limited to female use for this).  According to chanoyu-to-wa, the fukusa was also to be limited to purification, and not used for anything else, i.e. only to wipe the tea caddy and tea spoon, and if necessary, to wipe the laquered lid of the mizusashi or of the shin-nuri daisu before the chakin went there (in koicha).  So this is still my practice – to use the chakin and not the fukusa.  However, my first Omote-senke teacher did not make the difference, and had us men also use the fukusa, although in a different way than the women.

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