Next to the Thursday Edosenke Sadou classes at the Uni my sensei invited me to her official Friday classes. I am more then happy to go whenever I can.
It’s always an experience. I can sit with 3-5 old ladies and one of the senseis most advanced students who all are chatting about anything and everything and practice for a few hours. There are good ones and less good ones, but everybody is trying their best. It’s a 2-4 hours of seiza practice too. A lot of midori geiko (learning while watching) and 1 or 2 times I can practice too. So many steps and so many words. Sensei is strict on notes, she doesn’t let me take notes. The body has to remember she says. I try. Again and again. And she gently, with a low voice puts in a few words when I miss out a step or do not know what is the next step.
The next step in this particular set up. Because there are so many ways. I am getting more and more steps in mine. Until now there were two big versions. One on a tray, which is a more mobile, everywhere possible to perform version and one with a summer set up in her tea room. In this I had already variations in my practice too. Having the chairo (tea caddy) already inside or bringing it in, showing the used dougu (equipment) to the main guest after the tea or not. And I have seen an other version where the chairo is already in the tea room but in a drawer next to fireplace. Also I have seen koicha (thick tea) ceremony too, where the chairo is the ceramic version and comes in a little bag and we share a big chawan with all the guests and the main guests talks about the tea and the chawan with the tea maker. Today I have seen a ceremonial version of putting coal on the fire with a little bit of incense at the end.
And all this is just the surface of this one school. There are many mane more things like chabana, food preparation, winter set up, smaller one tatami tea room set up and many many more things.
You all know I am a huge tea guy but even I had no idea that this will be my island here, my best class, closest to my heart here in Katsuura.
I have to pick up as much as I can while I am here. I have all the help, I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.
I remember not starting at home, I remember trying to go to Prague to meet Martin to start in Omotesenke and then I was placed where I should be. Its funny when pieces fit together after some time.
A good friend of mine told me a few times. Careful what you wish for because you will get it.
This year is about these pieces.