May 11, 2011

Introducing kagetsu

In 1747, shichijishiki or seven training exercises were created through the joint efforts of Joshinsai (seventh iemoto of the Omotesenke school),  Itto (eighth iemoto of the Urasenke school) and the abbot Mugaku Soen of  Daitokuji temple. It is said that it took ten years to develop the shichijishiki.

In these exercises, participants choose lots to determine their roles to complete the exercices.   The most simple is hira kagetsu where 5 participants draw lots from the moon, flower and ichi (one), ni (two), san (three) tiles to determine their place in the room.

During the course of the exercise, 5 bowls of usucha are made and partipants choose the tiles from the orisue (pouch) to determine who makes tea and who drinks tea.

The exercise requires participants to pay attention and be prepared to make or drink tea.   It requires team work, timing and emphasizes walking and moving around in the tea room.

I love kagetsu and there are many forms of kagetsu, just like there are forms of temae. For example:  koicha tsuki kagestsu (one bowl of koicha everyone drinks and 4 bowls of usucha),  sumi tsuki kagetsu (charcoal is layed and 4 bowls of usucha are made) and so on.

It is fun and I hope to be bringing this form of training to our classes soon.

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