Saturday, June 2, 2012
A new chabako
It's difficult in the US to find boxes and baskets in the correct chabako proportions: 6" tall x 5.5 inches wide x 8.5" long, with walls thin enough that a 4.25" diameter teabowl will fit inside.
After many weeks of searching in antique shops, resale shops and online, I finally bought an affordable lidded basket listed as a Chinese lunch basket. Good news: it has great proportions and is in nice condition. Bad news: it has a large wooden handle, is not the desired dark brown color and lacks a brocade fabric lining.
My first thought was to cut the wooden handle off and stain it darker before lining it and adding the correct ribbon closure. However, it was not difficult to take the utensils out with the handle as it is, so I may use it for Unohana-date or Hana-date Chabako until I have the chance to learn the more advanced procedure. (Note, the cord on my brocade shifuku in the picture is not tied as it would be when being presented.)