Sunday, June 10, 2012

Glass Chawan for Summer

chawan with chabako-size chasen & chashaku
This is the new double-walled glass chawan that I just acquired for the clear chabako set I'm collecting.

Glass is sometimes used to give a cool icy feeling in the hottest time of the summer. I'm still looking for a clear plastic or Lucite box to hold the clear utensils I have gathered so far. 

Using glass also represents the feeling of the fragility of each moment in the tea ritual, the sense of ichi-go ichi-e, that this meeting will never happen again in the same way and should be savored.

clear utensils for chabako

As the guest, it is interesting to see one's hand through the glass while drinking. It is reminiscent of the custom, before the tea gathering begins, of stopping at the tsukubai, stone water basin, in the roji, tea hut garden. Each person bends down to rinse both hands and then cup water into one hand to rinse their mouth with water. This act of cleansing in the  physical world reminds us to also clear our mental state and enter the tea hut with a pure heart. In this sense, glass utensils are also symbolic of clear water and purity as well as coolness. 


As the host, it is good to know that the double wall keeps the outside cool to the touch. The chawan needs to be held as a temmoku chawan when emptying the rinse water into the kensui (waste water bowl) since it does not have a distinct foot to grip.

Have a cool summer!

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