Feb 21, 2013

Gomei discussion

I have been having an extended discussion with a commenter about gomei.  See this post and the comment thread.

For the guests, learning the gomei is of particular interest and in our discussion the commenter said,
"It sounds like the choice of a seasonal name is, at least partly, also the gift of reminding the guests of a shared cultural experience. . . . Perhaps the best gomei is not only one that is seasonally approprite [sic], but also unites the host and guests in the warm feelings of a shared remembrance."
This is a nice way of putting it and I really want to make the point that the gomei while seasonal are also allusional, that is they evoke feelings or remind people, of the seasonal moment.  The gomei themselves are a shortcut to those feelings and shared experiences.

So if you are going to use a local seasonal gomei,  make sure that everyone in the room can relate to what you are talking about and that the gomei can evoke some shared cultural or seasonal experience.  The kigo, or words that evoke the season in Japanese culture are a great reference for seasonal gomei.  You might try this link,  HAIKU KIGO Poetic Seasonal Expressions.

Another part of the discussion was about zen gomei for koicha.  I am not a Zen practioner, and I have not studied the Zen sayings, so it is difficult to come up with good koicha gomei. I tell my students to think of the tea scroll that they know.

Wa kei sei jaku - or a combination of wakei (harmony and respect)
Nichi, nichi kore ko jitsu
Ichigo, ichie
Matsu kaze
Buji kore kinin

Are some scrolls you know, so take a phrase from them.  Also: 
"It pays to pay attention. When someone else offers a Zen gomei, or your teacher suggests one, write it down with notes on meaning(s) or if it was from a Zen phrase or poem. Whenever you go to chakai and they give a name, write it down. I keep a notebook of good gomei both seasonal and Zen. If you are ambitious, you might try to research them from famous utensils . I found Haku gyoku "White jewel" from a famous (meibutsu) bunrin chaire with a drip of glaze, in an exhibition catalog."
Do you have other suggestions?   Please let's continue the discussion in the comments.

Feb 19, 2013

Worshops and events scheduled for this spring

Eventing Chaban
A lot of things are going on this spring at Issoan Tea School

Kagetsu study, Sunday February 24th, 1:30-4:00

Kimono dressing workshop: Saturday March 9-3-4 pm.  Bring your kimono and accessories.  Individual help in dressing yourself will be provided.

Soujuan Kimono of Kyoto will be in Portland Wednesday March 13,  7-9 pm.  A short talk on kimono and kimono dressing lesson from Ms. Kageyama, professional dresser.

New Introduction to Chado class begins Saturday March 9, 1-3 pm for 10 Saturdays.  Cost is $250.  Please reserve your spot with $50 deposit by clicking on Paypal in the left column.  Space is limited and filling up quickly.

April Kaiseki cooking class - Basics of kaiseki, the meal for Japanese Tea Ceremony.  We will prepare and serve a basic menu for spring chaji.  Kaiseki dogu, preparation and timing will be covered.  A shopping trip for ingredients will be included if students are available.

If anyone is interested, please contact Margie 503-645-7058, margie@issoantea.com

Feb 1, 2013

Kimono Sewing Workshop

When: Saturday February 9th 10:00- 2:00
Where: Kate's house (call for directions)
Fee:  $10 class fee, tea and sweets & lunch provided - sub sandwiches & salads, let me know your preferences
This is the second in our series of Kimono sewing workshops. We'll be working on the practice kimono tops (for modern tea ceremony). This is all about how the collar of the kimono goes together so is good practice for actual garment making, both modern and historical.

Tables & power strips provided. 2 machines & serger available. Bring a machine if convenient. We will do all 3 collar styles, yukata, unlined and lined. We will go over how to figure your individual fabric requirements. Please bring your measurement sheets with you.