What is the chashitsu of “Kirei-Sabi?”

What is the chashitsu of “Kirei-Sabi?” Design

Furuta Shigenari (commonly known as Furuta Oribe), 1 of Rikyu’s magnificent 7 disciples, had the influence of Sen no Rikyu and brought further innovation to the “tea of souan.” Sen no Rikyu accomplished the perspective of the world of “wabi-cha” (tea of wabi) with very novel techniques at that time. Furuta Oribe inherited that methodology and made new attempts to build up his creativity.

For example, he brought in the elegance of the aristocratic waka poems, etc. into the space of “wabi-cha,” that may appear as the opposite extreme. Dynasty culture dotted in “wabi-cha.” It’s like dropping a driblet of oil into the water. Also, he dared to break a chawan (tea bowl) and splice it with lacquer. This is the so-called “hachou-no-bi” (aesthetics of ripped tunes).


If Sen no Rikyu “found beauty in nature,” Furuta Oribe pursued the “creation of beauty from nature.” While Sen no Rikyu intently refined nature, Furuta Oribe shaped art from nature by hand.

Kobori Masakazu (commonly known as Kobori Enshuu), who learned under Furuta Oribe, prized dynasty-style tea utensils that were no longer mainstream at that time. These tea utensils were later called “chuukou-meibutsu” (restored special goods). In addition, Kobori Enshuu is said to have brought cloisonne work to chashitsu (tea room or tea house) architecture for the first time. Kobori Enshuu used a lot of windows in chashitsu, but this is also an expression going in reverse from Sen no Rikyu, who created a closed space by reducing the number of windows.

The chashitsu “Joan” left by Oda Nagamasu (commonly known as Oda Uraku and Oda Urakusai), the younger brother of Oda Nobunaga, is characterised by the nakabashira (central pillar) on the side of the ro (fire pot) and the sodekabe (wing wall) of the lotus petal shape. Although it is the 2-and-a-half tatami-mat souan chashitsu, it makes you feel the style of samurai status, and, understandably, the warlord Oda Urakusai made this a retreat place.

The tea master Kanamori Shigechika (commonly known as Kanamori Souwa), the founder of the Sado Souwa-ryu (tea ceremony Souwa school), studied Zen at Daitokuji Temple, therefore the strong influence of Zen Buddhism can be seen. He also used original expressions while referring to Furuta Oribe and Kobori Enshuu. The elegant and tasteful dynasty-style chashitsu called “Hime Souwa” was especially appreciated by the kuge (court nobles).

The chashitsu of “kirei-sabi” which is a new tributary developed from the “chashitsu of souan.” It can be said to be a swing-back phenomenon that reminisces about the “chashitsu of shoin” contrasting to the extremely simplified “Wabi-cha” (tea of Wabi).

Author: Takuya Nagata. Amazon Profile

A novel writer and creator. Graduated from UCA, the UK’s university. Discussed Japanese minimalism in the senior thesis. Founder of “MINIЯISM” (minirism), the art movement that contributes to the development of societies, such as ecology and lifestyle. Later opened the knowledge hub “The Minimalist.”

Once travelled to Brazil and trained football at CFZ do Rio (Centro de Futebol Zico Sociedade Esportiva) in Rio de Janeiro. Played soccer for the Urawa Reds (Urawa Red Diamonds), one of the biggest football clubs in Japan, and toured Europe. Retired at a young age and voyaged alone to England. Established careers as a journalist, football coach, consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. The founder of “Propulsive Football” (PROBALL), the world’s first-ever competitive mixed football, facilitating diversity and spirit for equal participation in society.

Knowledgeable in creative and technology fields as well. Launched the SPACE Culture & Entertainment hub “The Space-Timer 0.”

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