The flowers that are put in a vase in the tea room are called CHABANA (茶花). Unlike ikebana and flower arrangements, tea flowers are valued for their natural appearance. In the Tea ceremony, the natural beauty of the four seasons is appreciated in the tea room, but among them, the CHABANA often shows off the charm, and the host prepares them with the utmost care.
As Rikyu said, “Put the flowers in the vase as they are in the field.” CHABANA should be in the natural form of the flowers, and there is no need to change their shape or make them. The flowers and vessels come together to give the tea room its seasonal appeal.
“Put the flowers in the vase as they are in the field” means that you just put the flowers in the vases that bloomed in the natural environment, just like the flowers that bloom naturally in the field. It is good to respect the natural appearance of the flower, and there is no need to bend the branches or take a certain shape. Also, we don’t go for unusual or out-of-season flowers.
The book NANPOROKU (南方録) said about CHABANA, “It is good to have one or two branches of one flower in the KOMA (小間 ) [the tea room of four and a half Tatami mats or less] , and in the HIROMA (広間) [a tea room with more tatami mats than the KOMA], use two flowers depending on the flower.”
And also “Avoid flowers that are difficult to water, flowers that are fragrant, and flowers that are difficult to shape.”
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