Usucha – Dialog

Usucha(薄茶) – DIALOG

During the temae, the Shokyaku may ask about the bowl(s) used

The Shokyaku may ask immediately after drinking or after the Jikyaku has had their first sip, if there is only one one usucha bowl. If there are two bowls, the second is considered a kaejawan, alternate but not equal. The Shokyaku may ask about his bowl and the kaejawan immediately upon their being finished.

The higashi and tray may be asked about; the usucha itself used not to be usually recommended as a subject of discussion because it used to be just the “stuffing” in the tea-leaf jar and unworthy of mention. Nowadays, usucha is delicious and carefully cultivated, so mention is probably alright.

After everyone has had their fill, the Teishu may be asked to conclude and haiken of the tea utensils may be requested. Aisatsu too are as the examples above.

We would like to take a closer look at the thin tea container and tea scoop
Having examined them both, Main Guest asks,

(O-NATSUME WA? o-katachi; O-NURI WA)
What is the natsume? (Its shape) Who did the lacquer?
And the teascoop? its maker and poetic name
(We would also like to see) the fresh water container; and/ or the lidrest.
Beside the tea container and teascoop, the First Guest may also take this opportunity to ask for haiken of mizusashi and / or futaoku. Usually this applies to chasen kazari situations where the mizusashi is the point of the temae. Neither of these are usually asked for at koicha because it disrupts the flow of things and it is a waste of water to empty the mizusashi out before usucha.

To haiken the mizusashi, the Host should have prepared a sarashi to absorb any wetness. The lid is usually not sent out unless it has a kao or is somehow important or interesting.

The futaoki is first returned to the tana before haiken is called for, as usual. Then after the natsume and chashaku are put out, the Host turns to the tana (green bamboo futaoki are never haikened) and takes the futaoki, turns and sets it out further away than one chunatsume and closer to the black edge of the tatami, to indicate that it doesn’t rank with the other utensils and thus is placed in a reticent position

Teishu opens the door, everyone bows together. Teishu slides into room and Shokyaku slides forward with fan in front. Words of gratitude are exchanged between Teishu and each Guest in turn- how wonderful everything was, what a good time everyone had, how inadequate (Teishu feels), what a good experience, how much work it was (for Host), let’s do this again, don’t get tired, etc.


Please do not bother seeing us off.
After another sorei, Teishu slides out. Guests all thank Shokyaku for taking care of them.

(Before exiting.) Shokyaku:

Pardon me for going ahead of you.
O- SAKI NI (お先に)