Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Hatsugama Experience

I don't know what is wrong with me lately, but I have been feeling unusually lethargic. A few days ago, I concussed from 12am to 12pm! A whopping 12-hours! I never sleep so much back in Singapore, and I am wondering if my lethargy attributes to the cold weather? I just COULD NOT find the strength to wake up!

I had my 初釜 (Hatsugama) experience last week! Hatsugama is the first traditional tea ceremony that one participate at the beginning of the year. Not every Japanese finds the time and interest to go for their hatsugama, but when they do, they usually go fully clad in kimono and hakama.

As was I!

The hatsugama event was held at a community center 20mins bike ride from my apartment. I was manhandled into this pretty kimono by the Japanese ladies there, and I was lucky they could find one in my size (extra long so my legs wouldn't show) !

This event was held for gaijins, so descriptions like this were put up to help us have a better understanding of the tea ceremony. 

The four pillars of Japanese traditional tea ceremony. 

和菓子 (Wagashi - Japanese traditional confectionary) was served before the tea. 


Me attempting to make tea with my ridiculously big hands. 

My legs almost broke from kneeling for such a long time and I was squealing like a pig when the pins-n-needles feeling hit me. The nice ladies offered me an extra cushion as padding between my bum and legs to lessen the pain, but I suspect that they might be secretly laughing at this tall girl with zero tolerance for kneeling. The way they knelt was so easy-breezy-beautiful!

Even though the kneeling part was a pain which I had to bear, the overall experience was a pleasant one. I'm glad that I could be dressed in a kimono for the second time in a month! 

On the way home on my bike. Bless the good weather! 

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