What is the proper way to use a tabidansu?

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What is the proper way to use a tabidansu?

I’m looking for information on when to open the door, when to move the inner shelf, where to place the various items for koicha and usucha and so forth.

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People seem to really like the tabi-dansu! I guess it’s because of its classic shape and presence.

I am unsure of the different uses in other schools. In the Ueda Ryū the tabi-dansu is considered uber-wabi and is often used in the last weeks of the hearth (Japanese April). So you often see it in conjunction with the tsuri-gama (hanging kettle).

The history we are told is that Rikyu chose to take this style of tana with him on Hideyoshi’s campaign to take Odawara Castle, a military campaign lasting over 100 days. Rikyu needed something strong and durable for the journey and had the ‘tabi-dansu’  made especially. He then used the tabi-dansu in Hideyoshi’s camp.

I guess the ‘kanagu 金具’ metal lock used on the tabi-dansu is a vestige to Rikyu’s requirements for durability. The doors of other tansu simply sit in to grooves.

In Ueda Ryū:

Tabi-dansu Temae for Hearth

Tabi-dansu can be used both for the furo and ro, but the furo temae gets quite cramped with the tabi-dansu and is rare

  • tea caddy on top shelf
  • chawan on second shelf
  • mizusahi on bottom shelf
  • hishaku inserted into the groove on the top left of the top shelf
  • futaoki sits on the bottom left, in front of the bottom tip of the hishaku

Temae

  • Enter with kensui and sit facing tabi-dansu, kensui placed to your left (for standard orientation, hon-gatte temae)
  • Take the kanagu hook with the right hand and insert into the latch on the door only (from the right)
  • Open the door with both hands and rest on the left of the tabi-dansu with the kanagu hook facing in
  • take the futaoki, handle atop of the left hand, and place as a provisional placement (karioki) to the left
  • take the hishaku and place on top of the tabi-dansu with the ladle facing up (hishaku placed diagonal)
  • take the chawan and place as a provisional placement (karioki) to the left
  • (if you are performing the temae outside, take the middle shelf here and place it before the tabi-dansu to make a stable surface to place the dōgu)
  • take the tea caddy and place in front of the tana (formal kanewari placement on yang line)
  • align the chawan with the tea caddy
  • (if performing on tatami, here take the middle shelf and stack on the top shelf to create space for using the mizusashi)
  • take the hishaku and stand up (kamaeru) in your left hand, take the futaoki in your right hand, then
    • hearth/yin temae (women) place the futaoki as a provisional placement (kari-oki) near the hearth frame (robuchi), turn your seat to the formal position facing the corner of the hearth frame, take the futaoki, make sure of the shōmen atop your right lap and place 6cm/6cm (3me/3me) from the rims of the hearth and temae tatami
    • hearth/yang temae (men) place the futaoki in your right lap as you turn your seat to the formal position facing the corner of the hearth frame, make sure of the shōmen atop your right lap and place 6cm/6cm (3me/3me) from the rims of the hearth and temae tatami
  • rest the futaoki on the hishaku

– temae continues as per standard temae with tana –

  • as you finish the temae with the dōgu packed away in the tabi-dansu, you perform a ‘yu-jimai 湯仕舞’ (pack up washing the chawan and chasen with hot water, wiping the chawan with the chakin, and dipping the hishaku in hot water after replenishing two scoops of water)
  • present tea caddy and chashaku for haiken (appreciative viewing) if asked

With haiken:

  • take the hishaku, stand up (kamaeru) in your left hand, take the and futaoki in you right hand and turn to face the tabi-dansu
  • place the futaoki provisionally (kari-oki) to the left of the tabi-dansu and place the hishaku diagonally atop the tabi-dansu
  • place the chawan at katte (far left above the kensui)
  • purify the tea caddy and chashaku and present for haiken as per standard temae
  • turn again to face the tabi-dansu, return the middle shelf and place the chawan on the middle shelf
  • take the kensui and return to the mizuya
  • return with the mizutsugi (fresh water kettle) and replenish the mizusashi (taking the mizusashi out of the tabi-dansu)
  • place the mizutsugi at katte and return the hishaku and futaoki into the tabi-dansu
  • close the door of the tabi-dansu, take the mizutsugi and return to the mizuya

Guests perform the haiken of the tea caddy and chashaku

  • host returns after the guests have finished the haiken, sits in front of the tabi-dansu at first and opens the door as before
  • host turns to face the haiken dōgu and answers the guests
  • take the tea caddy and chashaku, turn to face the tabi-dansu and return the tea caddy first, then the chashaku
  • shut the front panel of the tabi-dansu
  • final greeting

Without haiken

  • take the hishaku, stand up (kamaeru) in your left hand, take the and futaoki in you right hand and turn to face the tabi-dansu
  • place the futaoki provisionally (kari-oki) to the left of the tabi-dansu and place the hishaku diagonally atop the tabi-dansu
  • replace the middle shelf (if on tatami)
  • place the chawan a little to the left as a provisional placement (kari-oki)
  • return the tea caddy to the top shelf
  • (if nodate (outside), now return the middle shelf)
  • return the chawan to the middle shelf
  • take the kensui and return to the mizuya
  • return with the mizutsugi (fresh water kettle) and replenish the mizusashi (taking the mizusashi out of the tabi-dansu)
  • place the mizutsugi at katte and return the hishaku and futaoki into the tabi-dansu
  • close the door of the tabi-dansu, take the mizutsugi and return to the mizuya
  • final greeting
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There is a quite detailed description in the book 6 棚 炉 (裏千家茶道 点前教則); ISBN978-4-473-03706-0; page 38-52

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The question has already been answered. Yes, the temae is described in the usual detail in the textbook. I am just posting to say that I fell in love with tabidansu when my sensei introduced me to it.

  • Marius Frøisland
    It would be nice to have the key point available in text here too. I do not have access to to book in question.
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