On October 24, 2023, RESOBOX’s East Village location hosted a special event entitled “Chashaku Carving Workshop: Make Your Own Tea Scoop”. Nineteen participants came to the class, including enthusiasts who regularly enjoy tea ceremonies as well as curious craft lovers. Through chashaku making, attendees explored tea culture and deepened their understanding of Japanese traditions, enjoying a moment of cultural enrichment.
A chashaku is a type of tea utensil, used to scoop powdered matcha from its container into a tea bowl. It is primarily made of bamboo. For easier scooping of matcha powder, the slender tip of the chashaku is rounded off.
The instructor for this event was Mr. Yoshitsugu Nagano, a tea ceremony practitioner from the Ueda Sōko tradition. Currently based in New York, Mr. Nagano conducts various types of classes in the NYC area and beyond, spreading the message of harmony and unity through the spirit of Chanoyu, or the Way of Tea. He is also the instructor of Chanoyu for Everyone: Tea Time at the Table, held twice a month at RESOBOX.
The goal of this class was for each participant to create their own original chashaku. There is no right or wrong shape; under Mr. Nagano’s guidance, everyone used a small knife to carve a piece of bamboo into a shape of their own design. Certain traditional styles exist for the tip of the chashaku, such as circular, Ichimonji (straight line), and Ueda Sōko styles. Participants considered their preferences for scooping matcha as they carved. Towards the end of the class, with a call from Mr. Nagano to “infuse the soul,” everyone made a final cut to the tip, and after three hours of focused carving, all attendees completed their original “My Chashaku.” Furthermore, each student thought of a name for their chashaku and named it on the spot, adding the final flourish after the three hours flew by.
This event was part of the “Chanoyu Week NYC” organized by Mr. Nagano. RESOBOX hosts numerous cultural classes to spread Japanese culture. Those interested are encouraged to check our website regularly for updates.