The chagō is a utensil used in sencha, a Japanese tea preparation method where tea leaves are steeped directly in hot water and then poured into a teapot.
Sencha, which was introduced to Japan from China in the 16th century, is based on the concept of brewing tea leaves in hot water. Prior to this, Japan's tea culture primarily revolved around matcha, a powdered tea that was whisked with hot water and enjoyed, particularly by the samurai class, as it was associated with Zen spirituality. In contrast, sencha incorporates the philosophy of literati, who held deep respect for tea and sought personal growth and social harmony through the appreciation of tea.
Sencha utensils reflect the delicate nuances, love for tea, and a deep connection to nature. Even a simple chagō, made by splitting bamboo, provides glimpses of the literati's aesthetic preferences throughout the changing seasons.
The featured chagō is adorned with a carved design of gracefully swimming goldfish, evoking the image of a small pond next to a tea room. As you gaze upon it, you can almost envision the serene atmosphere of a tea ceremony, the interplay between literati and craftsmen, and the release of one's senses within the confined space of a tea room.
Please enjoy this item as an everyday tea utensil, without any pretense, and immerse yourself in the world of tea.