The sensu is a collapsible hand-held fan which originated in Japan. Its framework consists of thinly split, spread out bamboo; paper is glued onto it. Since the open fan’s shape widens towards the end, it is held as a symbol of rising prosperity and success. Thus, it is also used as a prop at weddings and long life celebrations, or simply as auspicious gifts.
Japanese Fan (Sensu) Plate
Tea (in Japanese, cha) is indispensable to Japanese people’s life. A long-standing custom is to have “refreshment time” at three o’ clock in the afternoon, and which consists of tea and sweets. Also, when having guests, serving them a cup of tea is an expression of warm hospitality. The kyusu style teapot (meaning “quick pouring”) is used in this tradition. Japanese cha is known to have many vitamins and to be overall very good for one’s health.
Moon Cherry design
Sakura (cherry blossom) is the Japanese soul flower. Given that cherry blossoms bloom and fall within one week, the Japanese see it as a symbol of beauty as well as transience, melancholy, and honor of graceful resignation. The lyricism of the Japanese has been closely connected with this flower from ancient times.
The custom in Japan, in March and April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, is to do hanami (flower-viewing) with family, colleagues and friends. People spread a mat under the cherry trees, drink sake (Japanese rice wine), eat, sing, and enjoy the arrival of spring. Viewing cherry trees against the spring night sky with the full moon, the beauty of the cherry blossom is well cherished.
Ikebana is a traditional Japanese art that has flourished since the sixteenth century when the Buddhist priests offered flowers for Buddha. Its fundamental concept is to express the three elements of heaven, earth, and mankind in a balanced composition using natural flowers.
The general style consists of filling a simple, wide-mouthed vase with water, placing a kenzan (a metallic plate with many thick needles pointing up) inside it, and sticking the flowers on it. Natural beauty is emphasized and one’s own feelings are expressed by using scissors to adjust the length of the stems and to modify the shape of the leaves, and by using the hands to add curvature.
Over glaze enameling
(Uwaetsuke, China painting)
Uwaetsuke is a traditional Japanese pottery technique characterized for a decorative bright-coloured appearance that started around the seventeenth century. Paints made with copper, cobalt, or iron, are applied on glaze-fired pots and re-fired at a low temperature. This highly challenging technique requires care and expertise, such as the controlling of three firings (bisque, glaze and enamel), ensuring a dust- and grease-free work environment, and the know-how of painting. Other than serving practical uses, over glaze enameled pots are also appreciated due to their high-art quality.
Tsubaki (camellia) is the flower that announces the arrival of spring in Japan, and it is also the flower that most often welcomes guests at a tea ceremony. Its flowers are red and white. Like sakura, tsubaki fall very quickly after having blossomed. The flower’s simplicity is very poetic and also shows “beauty of life”.
Tokkuri & Choco sake set
Sake (rice wine) is brewed with rice and water. It is a Japanese alcohol beverage that can be drank both cold and warm. Drinking sake is often used as a remedy for the common cold.
Pour sake into tokkuri bottle and soak the bottle in boiling water; or you can simply microwave it. Do not boil sake directly nor use tokkuri bottle to keep any leftovers as it will spoil the flavor. Cheers!