2/06/2006

New Year Tea

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New Year's Tea, Good Luck Tea (fukucha)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Humanity


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Explanation

This is a speciality of the New Year in Japan. Other readings are

Good Health (Luck) Tea, fukucha 福茶
..... oobuku, oofuku 大服
..... oofukucha, oobukucha 大福茶 , 皇服茶
..... ofukucha 御福茶


In the early morning of the New Year, before even eating the New Year soup (zooni), a tea was prepared with the first water scooped of the year "young water" (wakamizu 若水). With plenty of tea leaves there were pickled salted plums (umeboshi) and seaweed (musubi konbu), sometimes even some mountain pepper (sanshoo) in the brew.

It was drank with the prayer and wish to stay healthy for the rest of the year by all family members and later in the day served to all visitors.

This custom dates back to the day of emperor Murakami 村上天皇, when an epidemic raged in the town of Kyoto. Saint Kuya of the temple Rokuharamitsu had a sacred dream to offer some of this tea to main deity, Kannon Bosatsu and thus cured all people.

The tea was named oofuku 王服、皇服 and from that day onwards prepared every year. Since the Muromachi period, plums, seaweed and mountain pepper were added.  It is served at the temple Rokuharamitsu during the New Year visit (hatsu moode).

Salted plums (umeboshi 梅干) promise a long life.
Mountain pepper (sanshoo 山椒)lets people walk easily in the mountains.
Seaweed (musubi konbu 結び昆布) was a play with words meaning "tie together in harmony".

This had all the meaning of good great big luck, daifuku 大福.

In other areas of Japan, they add sugar or radish or dried persimmones.

In some areas, it is drunk also on the seventh and 15th day of January.
It is also of course a special event for the Tea Ceremony, where three different kinds of sweets are prepared too.

In some areas of Japan, this tea is served for the Setsubun ceremonies in February (see below for Setsubun, the Seasonal Divide).

Gabi Greve

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Read about Kuya Shonin, by Gabi Greve 空也上人
kuuya shoonin
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Tea with a talisman of Kannon Bosatsu

http://www.rakutabi.com/memory/memory9/memory9.html


Tea sold for the New Year

http://www.meisetudo.com/oofukucha.html


A modern version, prepared with black beans and sold with the symbol of the Lucky Beckoning Cat (maneki neko)

http://www.calpis.co.jp/corporate/press/nr_00088.html


... ... ... ... ... ...

Tea Ceremony in memory of Daruma
at Temple Dairyuu-Ji
Temple Dairyu-Ji Ceremony


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way


Japanese LINK to New Year Haiku
http://www13.ocn.ne.jp/~kate/kigo_shinnen.html


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HAIKU


Three haiku by Issa 一茶と福茶

お袋の福茶をくめる指南哉
o-fukuro no fukucha wo kumeru shinan kana

how to ladel lucky tea
from its pouch...
a lesson


(Tr. David Lanoue)
Read about the translation of "o-fukuro" .


福豆も福茶も只の一人哉
fuku mame mo fukucha mo tada no hitori kana

lucky beans
and lucky tea
just for me alone




正月のくせに成ったる福茶哉
shôgatsu no kuse ni nattaru fukucha kana

the first month
is as it should be now...
lucky tea

Translated by David Lanoue

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合掌をしてお福茶をいただきぬ  
gasshoo o shite ofukucha o itadakinu

folding my hands in prayer -
and then partake of
the New Year Tea

(Tr. Gabi Greve)  

宮本 静代 Miyamoto Shizuyo
http://www13.ocn.ne.jp/~kate/kigo_shinnen.html

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Related words

***** The New Year and its KIGO

***** Setsubun 節分


*********** WINTER FOOD SAIJIKI

*********** NEW YEAR FOOD SAIJIKI


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http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/

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2 comments:

sakuo said...

今ではあまり福茶を飲む家は
なくなりました。
私の静岡ではお茶の産地のせいか
福茶はまったく飲みません。

岡山地方ではどうですか?

sakuo

. Gabi Greve said...

私も飲んだことがありません。
ガビ
GABI

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