Aug 19, 2008

Japanese words for the tea room – Haiken

At the appropriate time (when the lid is placed on the cold water jar), the first guest will ask the host to examine and appreciate the utensils used to make tea. He does this by asking:

O natsume, o (to) chashaku no haiken onegai itashi masu. (please let us examine the tea container and teascoop).

The host will acknowledge this by bowing and clearing the other utensils from the mat so he can purify the tea container and tea scoop for the guests. Once he has put them out, he then takes the rest of the utensils from the tea room and leaves the guests to examine the tea container and tea scoop up close.

When everyone has finished looking and appreciating, the utensils are returned to where the host has put them out. The host comes back into the room to answer questions. It is the first guest who initiates the conversation:

Guest: O natsume, o chashaku no haiken arigato gozaimasu (thank you for letting us examine your tea container and tea scoop). O natsume no katachi wa? (what is the shape of the natsume?)

Host: Rikyu gata chuu natsume, de gozimasu (it is Rikyu’s favored shape in the middle size)

Guest: Onuri wa? (tell us about the lacquer)

Host: Oimatsu makie, Sotetsu de gozaimasu (old pine in gold lacquer done by Sotetsu)
Guest: O chashaku no osaku wa? (who made the tea scoop)

Host: Zabosai Oiemoto, de gozaimasu. (Zabosai the grand tea master made it)

Guest: Gomei wa? (what is the poetic name?)

Host: Tombo, de gozaimasu. (dragonfly. This a seasonally appropriate name)

Guest: Odogu no haiken, arigato gozaimashita (thank you for letting me see your utensils).


  1. Thanks so much for posting this dialog! This is very helpful for us non-Japanese speakers.

  2. tansau,

    Thank you so much for coming to read the blog. I wondered if you were still studying tea. I am glad to help out for us non Japanese speakers. Christy sensei will be coming to Portland at the end of the month.