Shikishi-date is one of the more advanced procedure we know in the Urasenke school, using a portable set for out-door serving of Tea. In contrast to the rest procedures of that kind this one is using not the usual Chabako wooden box, but a jewelery woven basket as the Chinese custom is practicing. Because of its difficulties this procedure usually is thought around the level of Shikaden, but not so formal.
This procedure is very fancy and looks imposing. It is the most gorgeous one between the six outdoor ones in Urasenke and has a high and rich atmosphere with delicate court manner of serving Tea. Because of using two Tea-bowls and complicated style of proceeding the temae, Shikishi-date is suitable for occasions with many participants who know Tea.
A special wicker basket (Gosho-kago) is taken in the Sen-house from the imperial palace in Kyoto, where it was an ordinary item in use. Later it was created a complicated procedure for serving Tea with that box, named Shikishi-date. This procedure is devoted to the squared card-boards for writing poems (Shikishi). These Shikishi were very popular during Heian-period in the court when noble people often had various poetry-practices. The name of that procedure figurally comes from the numerous Kobukusa, used in that procedure and spread around like Shikishi-squares. This procedure is created before the last one of the six for out-door serving.
- Binkake – better not to use the Wabi-ones
- Tetsubin – very nice is to use a Ginbin (silver one) or other fancy kind
- Gosho-kago – an wicker basket “from the Gosho-palace” with knotted purple silk streems (Abihimo?) on it
4 little Kobukusa – slightly smaller than the usual ones: 1st one is grand goldy patterned, for the Tea container; 2nd one is a simple purple, for the whisking Tea; 3rd and 4th are middle rang identical ones, for serving both of the Tea-bowls to the guests
- Furidashi – traditionally it is a gourd (Hyootan) knotted in a purple Amibukuro knitted bag
- Chakin-bako – a little squared box for the chakin, better is silver, cheaper is simply wood, closed in a special squared Shifuku with a closing-hook
- Chakin – either smaller then usual or you have to fold it four times instead the ordinary three, to contain in the chakin-bako – especially if you have the cheaper one which is narrower
- Couple of Chawans – bigger and smaller, easy entering one in another; better to be fully glazed to wash the tea
- Hedate – treangled thick kloth from purple silk to put between the Tea-bowls for safety tachind one in another
Otsu-bukuro – a big one, purple or green, where the chawan are knotted
Chasen – as usual, smaller for entering the tsutsu
- Chasen-zutsu – as usual for chabako
- Chashaku – as usual for chabako – nakabushi or not bamboo, smaller for entering the shifuku
- Usuchaki – a tea-container for usucha, mostly Natsume; as usual smaller to enter a shifuku and the chawan
- Kensui – if there is no one another silver object, here is the last chance 🙂
There are rather two variations: the odd or pair number of the guests and the existing or not a Haiken (looking of the utensils). The first question is related to the way for taking back the Tea-bowls. You have just to remember that, each Kobukusa goes to its own place and each bowl goes over its own Kobukusa. The first bowl (doesn`t matter which one) returns with a full set of cleanings (Chasen and Chakin) and the second one is just water and Chakin. The second question is related to the way for finishing the temae. If you are not performing Haiken, just clean the Tea bowls, clean the rest things, take them in to the bowls and close. If you have Haiken, for the Tea-container and the Chashaku you have to use the first Kobukusa as a “tray” (keep the Chashaku yorikonde in the hand when move!) and when guests are returning the utensils, they may left the chakin-bako on the closed lid of the basked. The couple Tea-bowls as usual wait one in another in the geza-angle of the temae-za on the purple Kobukusa.
The specifics with this procedure is that there are almost all knots of Konarai on use, you have the new object of chakin-bako with the special position of the Chasen on its lid and you have to remember the consecutive order of moving towards several processes together. Other special thing is the knot of the streams on the box, which have no analog in another temae and the difference of taking Fukusa with the left hand from the lid of the basket where stays all the time.