About Chaji

Explaining about chaji and all the details of the procedure will require a lot of pages. This first page should be your starting point while reading about chaji. You should be able to find most of the information directly linked to chaji from this page (when I'm done remodelling it).

Chaji is a tea gathering during which the host serves food and sake in addition to Koicha and Usucha. A chaji takes several hours to complete. This page and the ones found in CategoryChaji detail the entire procedure.

The explanation on this page will only deal with Furo Shogo Chaji, for the other types please refer to the section below about types of chaji. Shogo is the "standard" form of chaji and it is therefore reasonable to use it as the basis for this discussion.

The guests arrive at the tea house and enter Machiai, where they are served hot water. Then they enter the garden and wait until the host comes and greets them. This is part of the Shoiri. Then the guests enter the tea room (First Seki where they are served food called Kaiseki. Then the host does Shozumi. Those two things takes between 1 and 2 hours. When this is done the guests go back out into the garden for Nakadachi. After about 15 minutes the guests come back into the tea room for the Second Seki. During this the host will serve Koicha and Usucha. In between these two tea servings teishu will replenish the charcoal in Gozumi temae.

There are seven standard types of chaji: Shogo, Yobanashi, Asacha, Hango, Rinji, Atomi and Akatsuki.

The links below show a chaji in chronological order, look at each of them for a more detailed explanation of chaji procedure.

Unsorted Chaji Notes

Types of Chaji

Guests preparations & Functions

Make arrangements to travel to Teishu's seki.

Do not try to find a replacement.



Teishu & Hanto

Duties of Teishu and Hanto sometimes overlap. The most important thing is that all the preparations are done on time, so the Guests can enjoy the chaji. There are some things the Teishu SHOULD do (shitabi, hana) but if Teishu is suddenly indisposed, the Hanto is expected to be able to do everything, like an understudy, in effect becoming Teishu. Indeed, both the Teishu should be able to do the whole chaji, (minus the food, usually) BY THEMSELVES, ALONE.

In the mizuya, there will be opportunities for Teishu to do some things that might be considered the Hanto's "job". But ideally the Teishu should be able to do everything and keep the chaji on time. Working together strengthens team spirit and helps the chaji go smoothly.


  1. Junbi: FIRST- CLEAN: tataki from high places, wipe down wood with (damp) Zokin, sweep, Zokin tatami

    1. machiai

      1. Scroll,

      2. Tabako bonhi'ire, etc.

      3. Shiki-mono, Zabuton

      4. Ro, furo or Binkake

        1. Tetsubin / Ginbin

        2. Kama

      5. Kumidashiwan

      6. Bon

      7. Kensui

      8. Futaoki,

      9. Hishaku,

      10. Kosen ire,

      11. Fukusa

      12. Hibachi, Teaburi

      13. andon
    2. koshikake

      1. tabako bon with hi'ire and Haifuki

      2. Enza

      3. Hibachi

      4. Teaburi

    3. Chashitsu: all of the Dogu,

      • flowers,
      • sweets,
      • etc.
  2. Roji

    1. overall cleaning, checks during chaji
    2. cleans Tsukubai, fills with water, refills as needed

    3. prepares Setchin

    4. Roji andon, Ashimoto andon, Ishidoro

    5. Sekimori ishi (only for large roji/ multiple paths)- placed at entrances to paths /areas to be avoided

  3. Temae:
    1. Prepare Seki

      1. hang scroll
      2. prepare tana

      3. fill mizusashi, natsume for tana

      4. Ro or furo:. Shozumi, Gozumi

        1. hai; ro-chu, kama-awase or haigata
        2. sumi and fire
          1. Ganro / Mizya furo

          2. Shitabi

          3. Sumitori (Shozumi, Gozumi), Kogo, Haiki

          4. tabako bonhi'ire 4 times

          5. Hibachi, Te-aburi

        3. Koicha- sifting, filling Chaire; softening new Chakin, Chasen (DO NOT WET); Kensui, cutting new green bamboo Futaoki & Haifuki; Hishaku, prepare koicha bowl

        4. Usucha - sifting, filling Usuki; Usucha bowl.

        5. Haiken, boxes

    1. Aisatsu

      1. purify self at Tsukubai; refill

      2. greet Guests at Koshikake

      3. welcome to chaji, answer questions
      4. at end, send Guests off
    2. carrying in kaiseki, Dogu

    3. do Temae / Haiken: (tana/Hakobi) Shozumi, koicha, Gozumi, Usucha.

  4. Kaiseki

    1. menu (find out allergies, dislikes);
    2. Dogu Toriawase: ceramics, lacquer, metal

    3. sweet
    4. Carry everything in, serve Guests; explain all food
  5. Hanaire / flowers on Kadai

  6. Higashi

  7. ato katazuke- everything washed, dried, boxed

Teishu does Ro-chu, Kama awase, Shimeshibai prep. the day before in ro season; Haigata in furo is best the morning of the chaji day The Ro is heated with "junk" sumi (this might be done in furoseason"] aslo, cleaned out with Sokotori, Shimeshibai re-covers ro, In either case, the Shitabi are added just before Teishu goes out to invite Kyaku in. Kettle goes on as soon as Teishu returns, just before Guests arrive from Koshikake The Host should be able to do all the Hanto's work as well as own


All this plus cook the Kaiseki, ready Dogu, Junbi - whatever needs to be done; in consultation with Teishu

  1. Hibachi and/or Teaburi

  2. lights: Andon, Tankei; candles

  3. whatever is needed
  1. Machiai - be sure doors are open Tegakari

    1. Shikimono; bring in hi'ire, tabako bon; Machiko

      1. Te-aburi, Hibachi, lights; take out Machiko

    2. scroll
    3. tabako bon

    4. Kumidashi wan and Bon

    5. say your line "O-yu o-meshiagare no ue ni, koshikake no hoo e dozo" (Please have som hot water, then go to the koshikake), open door to roji
    6. scroll removed after yori-atte
    7. replenish Hibachi before Guests return home.

  2. Koshikake

    1. set out first pair of Rojizori for Shokyaku

    2. places enza and tabako bon / hi'ire at end away from where Shokyaku will sit

    3. Katori senko; Hibachi, Te-aburi

    4. before Nakadachi, collects tabako bon for replacing hi'ire sumi

    5. collects tabako bon. and Enza after Go-iri

  3. Roji

    1. heavy cleaning; checks during chaji
    2. fills Teoke for Teishu

      1. refills Tsukubai after Sho-iri and Go-iri Nijiriguchi is closed

      2. takes away Tsukubaibishaku after last Seki-iri

      3. deals with toilet Tsukubai and Hishaku

    3. watering and zokining puddles
      1. before Guests enter tearoom
      2. before Guest leave at Nakadachi

      3. before Guests leave for home
    4. prepares both Rojizori and Rojigeta, plus Rojigasa ready for Guests, Host, self

    5. opens doors from Machiai to Roji; puts out first pair of Rojizori

    6. (Helps) roll up Sudare reed screens (if)

  4. Tearoom
    1. pass kaiseki to Host

    2. tabako bon before Usucha

    3. Rojizori before Guests leave

  5. Hakobi to Teishu, communicates timing, needs to kitchen

    1. kaiseki: brings everything to and takes everything away from Teishu

    2. makes sure tsuyu splashed on bowl and Fuchidaka lid

    3. at the end- opens everything (from Machiai on) for Guests to find their way out.

  6. Atokazuke, As things come back from seki, not to used again, Hanto can clean and return these to boxes: e.g.- Zabaki, Kogo (Ro); Chaire / Shifuku, Omo-chawan; Sumi dogu, Shimeshibai; Usu chawan, Haiken Dogu

    1. Rojizori; Rojigeta and -gasa; Sekimori-ishi: collect after Guest have gone

    2. empty kama - as soon as staff has had tea

    3. empty Mizuyagame

    4. everything else back into boxes, bote> cars

*. if it begins to rain or snow, replaces rojizori with geta and puts rojigasa conveniently; holds kasa for first Guest

Machiko 待香

The first and often most direct impression of a tea gathering is the fragrance which greets the Guests. The express purpose of this use of incense is to "wait for" the Guests in place of the Teishu and to allow the Guests to calm their minds before entering the deeper tea spaces. After cleaning the rooms before the Guests arrive, the incense purifies the space spiritually and helps separate it from secular space. Upon entering the waiting room, machiai, of a tea complex, the Guests are treated to the rich fragrance of Jinko.

Shikimono 敷物

Shikimono are things spread out on the Tatami floor of the machiai to: 1. give comfort to the Guests and to indicate where they, especially the Shokyaku, is supposed to sit.

They are warm in winter and should be cooling in summer.

Mousen 毛氈 - felted wool carpets, dyed red, blue, colors; Mousen, as the name implies are originally from Mongolia brought thru China, and imported by the tens of thousands in the Edo period. Neither wool nor felt was native to Japan. Earliest examples of felted wool came thru the Silk Road to Nara (7th century; Shoso'in collection) but felt of any kind was not made in Japan until Meiji.

Tou; especially for summer, extra long round reeds, such as those used for sudare may be made into up to 12 foot squares. Split reeds may be woven into large covers as well. All tatami lines disappear

Carpet, etc. Imagination is your only limit, as long as the shikimono does not get Kimono dirty, stain with unfast color, snag on projections or feel more uncomfortable than Tatami.

Zabuton cushions may also be used, one for each Guest, identical

Tabako bon

Next in importance to the waiting room's scroll but perhaps even more important than it in terms of hospitality, is the tabako bon, a tray for the various implements used in smoking Kizami, the traditional shredded tobacco.


Lights in General

  1. Oil lamps
    1. tankei- partsÅF
      1. suzume-zara; uke-zara; abura-zara; kuromoji to lengthen wick
      2. toshin 灯心 - pith wick, wick weight- toshin oshi
      3. natane abura 菜種油 = canola, veg. oil
      4. yu tsugi- lacquer, long handled like small Rikyu-konomi sake pourer
    2. chikkei- only in small room; bamboo lamp "stand"
    3. andon 行灯 - Namporoku #13- " Rikyu said, 'You should place a lantern (andon) at the waiting bench for dawn and night gatherings...' "

      1. andon- wood, without lid; used in machiai, for akatsuki, maybe yuzari
      2. koshikake andon- square, papered lantern with handle and rain cover; placed on or near koshikake
      3. ashimoto andon- tall, slender, lacquered lanterns with handles placed along roji, if light from koshikake andon does not reach seki
  2. Candles
    • wa rosoku 和蝋燭 - sumac wax with paper + toshin ( pith wick).
    • Te-shoku- Namporoku. #13-"Rikyu said, ' It is also good for the Teishu to go out as far as the gate [of the Roji] with a hand lantern (Tedoro), make his greetings there, and return. There are some who go out carrying a candleholder (Te-shoku), but on windy nights, candleholders are extremely difficult to manage. Neither are they especially handsome, and the brightness of their light makes them unfit. ' "

  3. Toro 灯籠 - Namporoku- #15- " For night gatherings when snow has fallen, you should generally not light the stone lanterns (toro) in the Roji. Overwhelmed by the brightness of the snow, they afford nothing worth noticing, their light wan. There may be exceptions, however, depending upon the conditions or the presence of trees; it is impossible to speak absolutely.



chado: Chaji (last edited 2014-08-16 18:45:56 by StigSandbeckMathisen)