Which schools pour tea out of the chaire, and which only scoops the tea out?

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During a presentation of koicha a comment from a practitioner of Omotesenke got me wondering about the way Urasenke pour tea out of the chaire. Is this a move that is common for other schools or is this something special that only Urasenke does?

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Omote only scoops tea from the chaire, but does not pour tea out.

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The Ueda Sōko Ryū pours the matcha from chaire to chawan for the standard temae. There are two ways:

  1. scoop 3 scoops of matcha with the chashaku and transfer to the chawan, rest the chashaku on the rim of the chawan and pour the rest of the matcha from the chaire into the chawan
  2. scoop two thirds of the matcha to the chawan with chashaku (so for an amount for 3 guests this would be around 6 scoops), then rest the chashaku on the rim of the chawan and pour the rest of the matcha from the chaire into the chawan

No. 1 is more of a spectacle as there is more matcha to pour into the chawan.

 

For temae using karamono chaire, the ‘aibiki 相引’ method is used. Here the matcha is:
scooped from the chaire,

chaire returned to the lap,

matcha transfered from the chashaku to chawan,

chaire brought to beside the chawan,

matcha scooped from the chaire,

chaire returned to the lap,

matcha transfered from the chashaku to chawan,

chaire brought to beside the chawan,

matcha scooped from the chaire,

chaire returned to the lap,

and so on until koicha for the amount of guests is scooped from the chaire. This method means that the host must fill the chaire not with the precise amount of matcha, but quite in excess, so they do not make any scooping or scraping noises on the chaire. The karamono chaire is of extremely high rank, so a scraping noise with the chashaku implies damage to the chaire.

 

I’d be interested to know if there are any schools that don’t pour match out during a version of koicha. If Omote doesn’t do this, my mind wonders if Ura decided to incorporate this move based on a later development, possibly that of Oribe. I say this as the Ueda Ryū is based on Oribe’s teaching and the pouring of matcha from the chaire is a fundamental of the Ueda Ryū. Purely speculation.

  • Elmar
    According to what I have read, pouring from the chaire is indeed a development later than Rikyu, and came about when having to serve many from the same bowl expeditiously rather than just one or two persons (in which case scooping the tea is done). According to what I have read, Rikyu himself only made a bowl for either one person, or for two, and never for more than that at a time, although if he had a 4th and 5th guest, they also would get a bowl for the two of them.
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In Urasenke, there is at least one temae in which you only scoop the koicha.  I believe it is done when using a very high level chaire (meibutsu??) and I assumed because there is more danger of dropping and damaging the chaire when pouring it.

However, a lot of the practices in the highest, most formal Urasenke temaes seem to be closer to Rikyu’s original methods.  This makes me speculate that the highest temaes are done the ‘right’ way and shortcuts (such as pouring) were introduced into the lower, more ‘casual’ temaes.  I studied Omotosenke for about 1.5 years over 25 years ago so I remember very little, but some of the things I did learn (pop the fukusa, rotate the bowl to warm it) show up in the higher Urasenke temaes, so might this mean that Urasenke might be closer to Rikyu’s original practices?

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