While not an extreme chaxi, this was a beautifully memorable one. Our host in japan, Mr. Yasuo Koike, has been of the most gracious sort, and we are now in Shizouka, a tea growing Provence.
We made a special 2 part chaxi on top of Asahi Dan Mountain overlooking a section of the river known as the 7 bends; being our first (serious) chaxi in japan, we decided to go with a Japanese theme.
Japanese Aesthetics are all about symbolism, so for this late 80’s Taiwanese oolong we used a chanoyu fan with rukyos poetry, and kashi paper under the gaiwan. We chose the tea because it tastes like plum, and plums are one of the symbols of Sen no Rukyu the founder of Japanese tea ceremony.
That set us up nicely for part 2; matcha chaxi!
We use the open fan as our hanging scroll, and the view as our tokonoma. Mr. Koike whisked tea first in his Oribe tea bowl; the green and white of the bowl were picked up by the green pine and the white kashi paper, both serving to enhance the colour of the matcha.
He also whisked tea in my Korean Persimmon bowl (by Mr. Lee); persimmons are a autumn fruit, reminding us that the joyful warmth of summer rains will soon be replaced by colorful leaves lofting on the breeze as they whip past the brushwood gates across japan. Very wabi. Again, the play of white and green bring this chaxi to life.
I’ll end with the days poetry.
品茶 at the 7 river bends
Spread out below, the water flows,
Backed by summits I want to know,
I follow tea, at home as I go,
Because people know,
Sharing tea makes us free,
To feel and to see. All.
2 teas, 1 mind, this chaxi binds.