Glossary of Tea Ceremony Equipment

Tea equipment is called dōgu (道具, literally tools). A wide range of dōgu is necessary for even the most basic tea ceremony. A full list of all available tea implements and supplies and their various styles and variations could fill a several-hundred-page book, and thousands of such volumes exist. The following is a brief list of the essential components:

Equipment used during a tea ceremony (temae)

Chabako ( 茶箱 ) (a box containing a set of tea utensils) : Chabako utensil box is used when a chabako tea utensil containerchabako utensil boxtea ceremony takes place somewhere other than the teacher's own place. Sometimes the teacher will use a Chashitsu owned by someone else to taech a Japanese tea ceremony lesson or to perform a tea ceremony for guests. Tea utensils are mostly made of ceramics and are therefore handled with extreme care. Chabako boxed are usually made of light wood to keep the weight to a minimum. The wood used for the box is usually not liked by insects and will therefore not come near and damage any utensils stored inside the Chabako.

Chaki ( 茶器 ) (tea utensils, tea container) : Chaki can either refer to various tea utensils used during the tea ceremony or to a container for Macha powdered green tea.

Daisu ( 台子 ) (large utensil stand) : A fairly large, portable, double-shelved display for tea ceremony daisu utensil stand utensils. The daisu consists of two shelves, upper and lower, connected by either two or four posts. The tea utensils are displayed on the bottom shelf of the daisu with the portable burner (furo) on the left. The ladle stand (shakutate ) is placed in the center back, the waste water jar (kensui) in front, and the water jug (mizusashi) on the right side. Originally, the daisu was called (tana), but these days Tana refers to a smaller size display stand on which less utensils are displayed. The daisu is usually lacquered in black with accent in red. Most often the Daisu is used during the summer when the Furo portable brazier is used. Daisu can be easily disabled for easy and compact storage. The legs come off simply by lifting the top shelf. In traditional Japanese carpentry the use of metal in the form of nails is avoided. The Japanese climate is very humid and would cause the metal to rust and corrode, which would damage wood and lacer.

Dora ( 銅鑼 ) (copper gong) : When the guests have left the Chashitsu after drinking dora copper gong Koicha, they wait at the Koshikake-Machiai. The host prepares the tearoom for Usucha and might change the decoration in the Tokonoma. When the Teishu is ready, the guests are summoned to return to the Chashitsu by means of ringing a Dora. These copper alloy gongs emit a beautiful sound and are made by expert metal workers which have a great understanding of melting and beating metals into shape.

Hachi ( 鉢 ) (bowl for sweets or food) : Sweets eaten before drinking green-tea are Hachi wagashi bowl served on a Hachi or on a small tray. Bowls can be made of ceramics or wood. Some Hachi might have a lit on them. Together with the Hachi a pair of chopsticks.

Hai ( 灰 ) (ash) : Ash, is usually referring to the ash bed in the portable brazier or fire pitin which the fire is laid. The ash is sculpted into elegant forms which are also admired as part of the overall art of the tea ceremony master. During Sumi-demae, Hai is ritually added to the ash bed already present in the fire pit. This ash will be little moist.

Hana-ire ( 花入 ) (flower vase) A Hana-ire flower vase for Chabana is often made of bamboo when hung from the Tokobashira of a Tokonoma. When a Hana-ire is placed on the base of a Tokonoma, it can be anything from ceramic bowls to an old Kama, just about anything will do. Guidlines for a Hana-ire are vague so Teishu's imagination and originality can be challenged.

Kaishi ( )(Japanese style mini napkins) Kaishi are used especially during the Japanese tea ceremony to place the sweets on and sometimes Kaishi are used to wipe the rim of the Chawan after drinking Koicha. Used Kaishi are folded to make them smaller and put into the left sleeve of the Kimono. Sleeves of the Kimono have long bags under them and can easily be used to temporarily store things in. Make sure the Kaishi is properly folded so that the dirty part is not going to ruin your precious Kimono.

Kan (かん) (Iron or brass rings to lift up and Kan metal rings for Kamamove the Kama) : When the Kama needs to be removed from the fire pit or brazier these Kan rings are attached to Kama to lift it up and place it on the Kamashiki. The Kama is heated by the Sumi fire and it is therefore impossible to lift by hand.

Kouboku ( 香木 ) (aromatic wood) : Kouboku aromatic wood is used to place together kouboku koboku aromatic wood with Sumi to create a soothing fragrance in the Chashitsu. Same as the Neriko, two pieces are placed in the fire and a few extra are put in the Kougou. Later when The Shoukyaku asks for Haiken of the Kougou, there are some pieces of Kouboku left to observe and possibly smell.

Kuromoji ( ) (natural wooden chopsticks) Kuromoji are used to transfer Wagashi sweets from a tray onto one's Kaishi paper. Once the Wagashi is placed on Kaishi paper, Kuromoji is wiped with the corner of Kaishi paper as a gesture of cleanliness. Jikyaku will use the same Kuromoji and Teishi after the Jikyaku, so just making gestures of a clean atmosphere and hygenic Kuromoji.

Neriko ( 練香 ) (blended incense) Neriko incense is used during the winter neriko Japanese incenseseason when preparing hot water in the Ro. Neriko is blended Japanese incense in round-ball shapes of about 5 to 7 millimeters. When adding charcoal to the fire during Sumitemae (Gozumi), two Neriko are added at the end, one near the center of the fire for a quick release of aroma, and a second one beside the newly added charcoal so that it takes some time to start burning. When placed correctly, aroma will be noticed throughout the whole tea ceremony.

Ro ( 炉 ) (fire pit, sunken hearth) : During the colder winter months the Kama is heated Ro sunken hearth in tatami on a Sumi fire in the floor called a Ro. The Kama used in the sunken hearth is bigger than the one used on the Furo portable brazier. The Ro is placed in a corner of one of the Tatami mats. Preparation procedures and position of Teishu is a little different during Temae of the Ro. Also Sumidemae has a few differences with the Ro.

Tana ( 棚 ) (utensil stand) : This is a general word that refers to all types of wooden tana utensil stand or bamboo furniture used in tea preparation. Each type of tana has its own name. Tana vary considerably in size, style, features and materials. The tana is considered less formal than its bigger brother the large utensil stand (daisu). It is used to display and to bring the individual beauty of utensils placed in or on it to the guests’ attention. Because of its smaller size, there is usually only room for the wastewater receptacle (kensui) on the bottom shelf and the water ladle (hishaku) and lit rest (futaoki) can be displayed (kazaru) on the top. In some cases there is a middle shelve on which the tea container (natsume) can be displayed. Sometimes the middle shelve might have a drawer like box and have the tea container placed in it. As the daisu it has four legs but the wood is often left untreated.

Tenmoku ( 天目 ) (tea bowl with narrow foot) Tenmoku tea bowls are frequently encountered during a Japanese tea ceremony. For both the Teishu and Kyaku have to be careful when handeling this bowl since it easily tips over.

Tenmoku-dai ( 天目台 ) (a stand for tenmoku bowl) Since a Tenmoku tea bowl has a narrow foot, tenmokudai with tenmoku tea bowlsometimes a Tenmokudai is used to stabalize it.

Tenugui ( 手拭 ) (rectangular cotton hand towel)

japanese green tea


Site Search

On Amazon