Bewitched by Matcha tea…
Six years ago, I left Taiwan where I was born and raised. Thanks to many serendipitous encounters and meetings, I am now working as a staff at Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu. I adore Kyoto so on my days off, I enjoy cycling to the many temples and shrines.
I first visited Japan as a 2nd year high school student. My father and I went to Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa and there, for the first time in my life, I drank matcha tea. I was at once enthralled by the tea’s unique bitterness and my heart sang at its deliciousness. Since then, I could not get over the sheer magic of that experience and last summer, my dearest wish was realized and I was able to begin studying the art of the tea ceremony. The lessons include opening and closing the fusuma (sliding door), proper way of walking on the tatami without stepping on the edges, bowing, and the handling of the fukusa (square cloth used in the tea ceremony). I found all these details tedious as I desperately wanted to learn how to make matcha right away. However, little by little, I became aware that my movements as I went about my daily life had begun to change.
From this month I will start the Bonryakutemae, the introductory tea ceremony for novices. My teacher said, “Once you have mastered the Bonryakutemae, you will at last be standing at the start line.” Although I still have a long way to go, I would like to continue to study the meaning of what my teacher said on my first day, that the tea ceremony was a way of life.
I always use the H-20 bag when I go to my tea ceremony lesson as it holds A4 size documents perfectly. It isn’t too wide and can be carried about with a minimum of fuss.
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