Shiba Onkō, Japanese Chōzubachi Tsukubai
Item description - YO03010130
A Chōzubachi (手水鉢) is an ornamental waterbassin found in the traditional Japanese garden. It is used for the ritual washing of the hands and rinsing of the mouth before a person is allowed to participate in the tea ceremony or enter holy grounds such as Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines. Loosely translated Chōzubachi means waterbassin for the hands.
This Chōzubachi can perfectly be used in a traditional Tsukubai arrangement. This means that specific functional stones named Yaku-ishi (役石) are placed around the Chōzubachi. The stones placed on either side are called Teshoke-ishi (手燭石) and Yuoke-ishi (湯桶石). The stone in the front is called Mae-ishi (前石). Additionally, a stone Oribe lantern can be placed behind the Chōzubachi. A bamboo ladle or dipper is also a frequently seen item in the Tsukubai arrangement. The water supply of the Tsukubai can traditionally be arranged with a bamboo spout called Takekakehi (竹筧). The term Tsukubai originated from the Japanese verb Tsukubau (蹲う) which means to crouch down, an act of humbleness.
This Chōzubachi type is called Shiba Onkō (司馬温公). Shiba Onkō is the Japanese pronunciation of Sima Guang, a Chinese historian who lived during the Song Dynasty. When Sima Guang was a child, he rescued a friend who got stuck in a barrel of water by smashing it with a rock. The randomly raised edges of the Chōzubachi resemble a broken barrel. Hence the name: Shiba Onkō.
• Origin: Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture
• Material: Kurama stone (鞍馬石)
• Age: Meiji Period
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