May 3, 2010
The general rule should be that when there are several utensils of the same kind, the most formal is placed to the rear, the next is placed in front of it and the third the rear of the next row.
As you can see from the diagram, starting from the bottom row, are the kensui. the next row on the bottom of the mizuya from the left are the hishaku, the most formal at the back. Then the chasen are hung from the back wall; the most formal, smoked bamboo on the far left.
The bent wood mizusashi is the most formal a the back , with the less formal in front of it. The ceramic mizutsugi at the back with the metal one in front of it. Hanging on the wall next is the wooden square for placing the kama on it and the kama brush. Below is the shallow water pan (chakin darai) with chakin and sweets picks. Next is the large water jar and hanging to the right are the filter ladle and large water ladle.
The next shelf up are teabowls in order of formailty: black raku, red raku, Hagi, and others appropriate to koicha, bowls without decoration, and those with decoration. Next are futaoki: metal, ceramic, bamboo.
The next shelf up: chaire in order: karamono, Japanese katatsuki, other Japanese type, and wide Japanese type and then others. Usuki (thin tea containers): black laquer chu natsume, decorated chu natsume, hira natsume, other lacquered, ceramic thin tea containers and others. Tea scoops: ivory, bamboo with no node, bamboo with node at the bottom, bamboo with node in the middle. Next lacquer mizusashi lids, and kettle lids on futaoki. On this shelf is the appropriate place for several clean towels for drying utensils. The towel for hands usually hangs from a peg on the right side of the mizuya. On the floor there should be a floor towel.
On the next shelf are temmoku tea bowls: on lacquer stands and on plain wood. An tray for incense appreciation then kogo. Next to that is an orisue for kagetsu, and wood boards for kinin kyotsugu. The next box is a satsubako, with the otsubukuro bag on top and next the box with tools for measuring tea.
On the top shelf from the left are the charcoal stand with flower stand on top, charcoal basket and ash bowl. Next are the folded paper kama kamashiki on top of the woven reed one with the kan in front. The ash spoon, feather brush and fire tongs for sumi and two large ceramic bowls for charcoal ceremonies. Finally at top right is the metal pot for carrying burning charcoal.
While this diagram deals with a very large well-equipped mizuya, the principles should remain the same whatever the situation. Sometimes the mizuya has fewer shelves and the tea containers and teabowls are on the same shelf. In such cases, the most formal tea container is a the rear left and most formal teabowl is at the rear right.