In Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, there is a Japanese tea shop called Nakagawa Seisei-do Chaho, which is dealing in not only Japanese tea but also a lot of tea utensils. When I visited it the other day, the shop owner showed me the tea utensils one by one, and told me a lot of interesting stories about them. According to him, tea utensils in his shop are Shigaraki ware. To make them, Shigaraki-potters themselves enter the mountains to find the best clay, and then, they try to soak and dissolve the gotten clay in water, and by stirring it and taking out its clear layer and the unnecessary things repeatedly, get finer clay called Suihi-tsuchi (elutriated soil).

When making this Suihi-tsuchi, the best water for it is said to be the one which flows beside rice fields, including a lot of microorganisms. On the other hand, when baking tea-ware using Suihi-tsuchi, potters actually eat tea leaves and make tea-ware that suits the taste of tea, for the taste of tea varies depending on the place and altitude where the tea grows.

The shop owner ended his talk as following, “To make delicious tea, please use tea-ware and water which match the tea.”



滋賀県大津市に、中川誠盛堂茶舗という日本茶のお店があります。ここはお茶だけではなく、茶道具も豊富に取り揃えています。先日訪ねると、店主が茶道具を一つひとつ見せながら、興味深い話をしてくださいました。 お店に置いてある茶道具はすべて信楽焼で、陶芸家が山へ自ら足を運び、探してきた土で作るそうです。土を水につけ、何回も攪拌したり、透明な上澄みや、不要なものを取り出しながら、きめ細かな土「