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Gyokusendo Tsuiki Kyusu-dai (teapot stand) and Sago (tea scoop)

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Japanese Metal Work200 of 200Japanese Nanbu-Tekki cast iron censer by BunshudoSecond Oitomi tonbo (dragonfly) kyusu
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (926 items)

    The Kyusu(teapot)-dai(stand) is 3.75" in diameter and the Sago (tea scoop) is 3.5" long x 1.75" wide. They are hand made of copper and have a mark stamped on the bottom. Both were hammered into shape using a process called Tsuiki. The set came in a small tomabako with writing on the inside and outside of the lid and a stamp where the top and the bottom of the box meet. It was sold by the Mitsukoshi department store and has a UPC label on the bottom. The maker, Gyokusendo, is very famous for making tea ware. This little set is still being made and sells for over $200. Yikes!

    I bought several items which came from the estate of a American professor who taught at a Japanese university in the 1990s and mailed many items he liked back to the U.S. None of these items were ever used.

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    1. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      @keramikos - Thanks for your comment. I will never use these, but agree that the Japanese make beautiful things for beautiful reasons.

      Thanks for taking a look at my Japanese metalwork fortapache, Hoot60, keramikos, glassiegirl, Cokeman1959, iggy, Kevin and Jenni!
    2. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for taking time to look at my Japanese metal implements, Lisa. I will have some new images up soon. There is a UPC label for the Mitsukoshi department store on the back of the box which I think dates this set to 1988 and another stamp that "seals" the lid on the box. Still not certain what this set is for...
    3. truthordare truthordare, 2 years ago
      I don't either Kevin, thinking something involved in smoking perhaps, not for food, or for decorative purpose only. It's probably implements we are not familiar with, but obviously Japanese. :-)
    4. truthordare truthordare, 2 years ago
      Pipe smoking, with pipe rest and tray?
    5. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, Lisa. I have a contact in Japan who is a dealer in Japanese art who I will send my new images too.
    6. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Could be!
    7. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      I sent some images to my friend in Japan. This also spurred me to get better images since the light is good here today.
    8. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Mystery solved by my friend in Japan!
    9. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks Karen!
    10. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thank you fussbudgetvintage and Vynil33rpm!
    11. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 2 years ago
      Gorgeous pieces, kwqd!

      I believe this beautiful set is intended for use in Senchado, "the Way of Sencha" (steeped tea). It is similar to the Way of Tea (Chado), a.k.a. Japanese tea ceremony, but because it uses tea leaves that are repeatedly steeped, rather than matcha powder, many of the dogu or utensils are different. You wouldn't typically see a sago in Chado because it's used for displaying the tea leaves to the guests and then funneling the leaves into the teapot.

      I've never been to a Senchado event -- that tea practice hasn't expanded outside Japan as Chado has done -- but I have a couple of books on the subject and it's fascinating!

      More info here:
    12. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, information and link, rhineisfine! Each of these small implements is a masterpiece. Here is a link to a nice video on Senchado:

      Unfortunately, lacking a sense of smell and having a limited sense of taste, tea just tastes like warm water to me.... Still, I like the ceremony.

      Thanks welzebub and rhineisfine!
    13. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      There is Japanese tea shop and cafe about five blocks from my house... They were very disappointed to be unable to share the taste of their teas with me.
    14. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 2 years ago
      kwqd, that's a pity about not being able to taste (smell) the tea. Are you able to taste sweet things, by any chance? I'm thinking that even if you were able to attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and you couldn't taste the matcha (which TBH is a bit more strongly flavoured than most steeped teas), at least you might be able to enjoy the sweet that accompanies it. Especially if it's a traditional moist sweet (omogashi)!

      One other thing, if you ever have a chance to try a traditional whisked bowl of matcha made by someone who is familiar with tea ceremony -- ask them if you can try "thick tea" (called koicha in Japanese), rather than the more usual "thin tea" (usucha or ousu) that is customarily served to less experienced guests. Thick tea is the consistency of melted chocolate and has an even stronger flavour. It's made with a finer, sweeter leaf, to compensate for the more intense taste. That said, koicha is still very much an acquired taste for most people, but I think it might perhaps be flavourful enough for you to perceive. If you're ever up in my corner of the woods, I would happily whisk (or in this case, knead) a bowl for you :)
    15. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the offer, comments and suggestions, rhineisfine! I can differentiate between sweet, sour, salty and bitter, only, the tastes available using the taste buds on the tongue. That being said, sometimes those tastes become overpowering because that is all that I can taste. Bitter things are especially unpleasant. I lived in Seattle from 1978-1992 and traveled to B.C. many times. I also spent a lot of time in Vancouver, but I guess it is a different city, now. I have not been to Canada since about 1990, though. Now I live in the Midwest of the U.S.
    16. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thanks Eileen!

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