Takayama ChasenTakayama Tea Whisks

It is in the middle of the Muromachi era, and thing which son of Takayama feudal lord made by request of Juko Murata who is the founder of tea ceremony does by opening.
The manufacturing method was considered to be secret of the lord of a castle whole families afterward, and we told only inheritor as the skill of "transmission from father to son" from generation to generation, but we would be informed by 16 main retainers the later secret and it was unbroken and was informed until today, and Takayama of Nara was the whole country, and it was now in production center of the only bamboo tea whisk.

The making of tea whisks began in the middle of the Muromachi period (1333-1568), when the younger son of the lord of Takayama was asked to make a whisk by Murata Juko, who had been instrumental in perfecting the tea ceremony. Thereafter, the production method was kept a guarded secret by the lord of the castle and his family and was carefully handed down from generation to generation.
However, sometime later the secret was revealed to sixteen of the family's chief retainers and the techniques were passed on without interruption. Takayama is now the only place in the country where tea whisks are being made.

There are about 120 different kinds of Takayama Chasen, the type of material, shape and number of splines varying according to the school of tea, and also on the kind of tea, whether it is weak or strong, to be served in very formal surroundings or at an open air tea ceremony, or if the whisk is for a travelling set. The taste of the tea is also said to differ slightly according to the workmanship during the whittling process. A part from the traditional whisks, some are now made for decorative purposes, while others are made to produce a good head of froth on milky coffee.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    After being shallow, and having broken using knife, tear "piece of wood" along fiber of bamboo by hand.

    Finish of ear grinds "we reduce taste" "harsh training" and "aspect men in ambush".

    Raw materials

    Assume bamboo to use black bamboo, black bamboo or common Japanese bamboo.

    Assume thread to use cotton thread.

  • Work scenery

    We will see main process of manufacture of Takayama Chasen said to have individuality with handicraft one by one.

    Process 1: Original bamboo (genchiku)

    We expose black bamboo (hachiku) with live tenacity at time of intense cold for 2-3 years begun to talk in winter and cut thing which we stored.
    Gnarl is calm, and fiber is obedient, and black bamboo (hachiku) has good point that it is easy to arrange.

    Process 2: Clipping off (hegi)

    We peel the epidermis of the other party from rank for the first half of knob.
    We half chop with large percent kitchen knife next and do to 16 percent. We put this up by one slice in occasion and divide skin skin and the body with kitchen knife and look in the body. As for the thin bamboo, middle bamboo does big bamboo with 18, 20.24 percent 16 allotment 12 allotment; of the number of the ears is based.

    Process 3: Fragment (kowari)

    We fall below one slice of 16 percent for big things and small things alternation. In the case of 80 bookends, it becomes 160 when we fall below one slice to ten average, and rise ear becomes 80.

    Process 4: We reduce taste (we sharpen horse mackerel)

    We soak part of the tip into hot water and sharpen toward the body earlier from the root to become thin indeed. We follow harsh training, form when it becomes suitable thinness to curl up on the body side.
    We change how to shave by form of bamboo tea whisk.
    Taste of tea is the most difficult process so that it is told to change by taste cut.

    Process 5: Chamfering (we take noodles)

    We sharpen some Morozumi of ear and, by one rise ear of bamboo tea whisk which sharpens, and went up, take corner.
    This is to prevent tea from attaching.
    We withdraw, and ear is the same, and we go up, and ear is in an opened condition when we knit out of advance thread in occasion.

    Process 6: Bottom, first volume (net, uwaami which we did)

    When we put up rise ear which performed chamfering in occasion and knit with thread, we fall down, and ear is the same, and we go up, and ear is in an opened condition. With two laps of threads over ear which did bottom, we get a grip at the root.

    Process 7: We display waists (we go, and line up)

    We withdraw and put ear in bamboo spatula inward and put ear together and decide size of bamboo tea whisk and prepare height and interval of the root.

    Process 8: Finish (finish)

    We repair disorder of the tip and fix form and fix height and space to the tip equally and paste box.


  • ・Close-up



Industrial art object name Takayama Chasen
Phonetic symbol takayamachasen
Classification of industrial art object Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork
Main product Bamboo tea whisk, art, foaming business of coffee
Main production area Nara / Ikoma-shi
The designation date May 10, 1975

Contact information

■local production associations

Takayama, Nara bamboo tea whisk production cooperative association
6421, Takayamacho, Ikoma-shi, Nara
TEL: 0743-71-3808
FAX: 0743-71-3808

■Associated exhibit space, facility


There is 120 kinds of Takayama Chasen, and material and form, number of ear are different from school of tea ceremony by uses such as tea box use for outdoor tea ceremony (dandy) for oblatory tea for strong tea for weak powdered tea. In addition, taste of tea delicately varies according to effect of process called taste cut of bamboo tea whisk.

There are 120 types of Takayama chasen. The materials, shapes and number of ears vary depending on the tea ceremony school and the intended use (whether they are meant for light “matcha” tea (usucha), for strong ”matcha” tea (koicha), for tea offerings, for open air ceremonies, for tea box and so on). Furthermore, based on the end results of a process known as “taste shaving,” the taste of tea itself may even vary slightly.

How to make

We cut original bamboo to each dimension and break part becoming ear by knife to 60 - 240 by style and use finely and warm it in hot water and we sharpen to become gradually thin indeed and stroke with spatula and bend ear to the tip by knife on stand of bamboo from the inside. We perform chamfering of Morozumi of ear every one and knit ear which performed chamfering every one. We clean knit bamboo tea whisk last and finish. We perform all with handicraft the other day. We are finishing by 8 processes now.

The bamboo to be used as material is cut to different specifications; the part that will be made into the ears, depending on the style and the intended use, is divided finely with a knife in between 60 to 240 pieces, which are then warmed in hot water, pared down with a knife so that the ear tips become gradually thinner and then bent with the help of a spatula. Every other corner of the ears is chamfered and every other chamfered ear is woven. Once the tea whisks have been woven, they are completed by cleaning them. All these operations are performed by hand. The process terminates with the conclusion of the eighth and final stage.

Voice from production center

We wash with hot water pure afterward using bamboo tea whisk well and last a long time when we naturally dry. Foreign product, a lot of domestic goods of poor quality are sold, but please buy work of tradition certificate stamp, thing put production center mark on or reliable writer not one to be cheap in shop. It is easy to use and lasts a long time.

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