Presenting an exquisite handmade chasen by grandmaster Ryosai Kubo:
We are so fortunate to be able to share this particular chasen with you. Genuine Takayama chasen are a diminishing art, but with your appreciation and enthusiasm, we hope to see the art of Takayama chasen preserved for years to come. Each of these chasen can be considered a true treasure.
This bamboo whisk is Shin (真) style and is used among Urasenke official chanoyu society. This Takayama Chasen can be used for both Usucha and Koicha at formal tea ceremonies by the current grandmaster (iemoto) system.
Why Takayama is special:
Takayama is a city in Japan's Nara prefecture and is famous as the home of traditional chasen craftsmanship. Presently there are only 18 craftsmen left in Takayama, and only 15 are officially certified as traditional grandmasters by the Japanese government. Becoming a grandmaster is no easy feat - one must remain in business making chasen for 20+ years in order to qualify for the exam to obtain grandmaster status. Even after having passed the exam, a grandmaster has to take the test every 5 years to retain their title. The majority of these grandmasters have come from long lineages of chasen-makers, passing down signature ways of making chasen from generation to generation. The Kubo family's history has at least 7 generations of chasen workmanship in Takayama.
Grandmasters typically can only make about 12 chasen a day. The bamboo (Kurotake, black bamboo) used for this special chasen must also be dried for a year before being carved.
Considering the intricacy and rarity of these chasen, we only receive about 25 units at a time. If you'd like to help preserve this art and want to elevate your matcha moment, make sure you purchase yours today!
Care and Storage:
Be gentle with your prized chasen. You'll notice it is lightly glued to the box. Carefully remove the chasen. You may lightly wet the bottom of the handle with hot water to dissolve any remaining glue.
Prior to using your chasen, you may soak the tines in hot water so the bamboo softens.
Right after making matcha, please rinse your chasen without soap or using a sponge. Make sure to gently towel off your whisk, and carefully clean the tines with your fingers if any matcha remains.
Store your whisk away from sunlight or humid areas to ensure it stays in excellent condition.