I read a lady’s blog which introduced an episode that was spoken by a popular Japanese vocalist, Ryugen Toshi in X JAPAN.
In 2014, his hobby was a tea ceremony and he practiced it on a regular basis at that time. One day when he was practicing the procedure, he fell down very hard with a tea bowl in his hands and broke the tea bowl from the fell-down. All the people there rushed to the tea bowl but none cared for him. He understood the situation since he knew how worthy the tea bowl was but felt a little sadness and was let down. It seems that he was unable to sit down on heels due to the fell down (he sprained his legs, it’s quite a way of falling!).
After the accident, he felt guilty for what he has done, breaking the priceless tea bowl, so he went to an antique shop to look for a substitute. Believe it or not, he found a pretty similar bowl at a very reasonable price in the antique shop, of course, he bought the bowl and gave it to the owner of the broken tea bowl. I’m not sure if he still does tea ceremony or he has already quit..if he has, I wonder if that’s because of this accident.
This episode is very interesting to people who love tea ceremony. Even just thinking of the accident, if it were I, I would be terrified at breaking such a worthy piece, however, at the same time, I would feel as he felt, a bit sad.
Actually, I have witnessed a similar accident before. It was also at practice by a lady and a professor. It seems that the lady was holding the tea bowl not in the perfect way. I wasn’t particularly aware of it but the professor did notice and shouted at the lady.
“Hey! What is wrong with you for holding the bowl the way you hold it! If the tea bowl was priceless, You will have to pay with your own life!”
The lady seemed to be shocked and apologized, but I didn’t know if she was the person who should apologize at the moment. I thought it was the professor, not the lady.
Is this person really a professor? who has come a long way in the course of becoming a professor to teach people about what tea ceremony is?
Is there a tea utensil that is more important than a life?
I don’t think so. Also, I don’t want anyone to think that there are precious tea utensils in the world that are more precious than human lives.
Expensive labeled utensils tend to be prized at tea gatherings, but a spirit of tea ceremony (chanoyu) doesn’t depend on these luxury utensils.
Of course, such as well-known artists made tea utensils or utensils made of rarely-seen materials are worthy of people’s praise. However, the most important thing that chanoyu (tea ceremony) has made me realize is that showing somebody, the people around you that you actually care for. Luxury utensils are not necessarily required.
When we are living busy lives, we are likely to forget what the most important thing is to ourselves. It may be necessary that we sometimes see and find the true essence of things.