Saturday, March 10, 2012

Don't cha-no-yu from somewhere?

Beautiful Saturday morning to be back in tea class. It's been months—well, before last week—and I have an ankle injury, so my ryakubon was shaky at best. But everyone was patient, and we got through it. I need to practice a lot more before next time so my movements will be more fluid—ie, we can work on details rather than what comes next—and my fukusa will feel less inclined to fight me. I will say, though, that on the three bowls of tea I made I managed a pretty good froth. Usually my wrist tires, but not so much today.

I took along the kimono I bought at least year's 桜祭り here in Philly, a pleasant brown on the outside with a very fine black geometric pattern, almost Greek, and a royal blue inner lining. Subtle enough for tea. The group advised that I find an obi with gold threads would go well with it, so I'll have to look for one. Also, it turns out some of the sizing is off; it's a bit short for me, and a bit narrow for tea, and maybe the arms are a little short. Fortunately, we have a stitcher in the group who's worked on kimono before; she found within the lining all the extra fabric we'll need. So, yay. Chanoyu happy dance (which of course is done entirely in the heart, while externally one remains entirely calm)! Also still need other items (tabi, himo, juban, etc.).

I feel a little presumptuous, being such a beginner student and having a kimono. But, even at my low level, I can tell that some of the movements are what they are precisely because one is wearing a kimono—particularly, arms (sleeves) and knees—so maybe some things will feel more natural if I practice in appropriate clothing. Strange that the kimono process is so different between men and women: women's kimono require a much more complex infrastructure than do men's, which are put on pretty much exactly as you'd expect.

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