daisu 台子
KEY WORD : architecture / tea houses
A fairly large, portable, double-shelved display for tea ceremony utensils. Traditionally, it was used at the most formal tea ceremonies; it is now used only where tea is offered to gods and Buddha. The daisu consists of two shelves, upper and lower, connected by either two or four posts. A two-post daisu is called *kyuudaisu 及台子. Sizes vary: a large daisu may be 88cm long, 31.5cm wide and 67.2cm high. A small one, 63.9cm x 39cm x 66.6cm. The most formal type of daisu, called shin-no-daisu, 真の台子, consists of the upper and lower boards and the four posts covered with high quality black lacquer. Another type, takedaisu 竹台子, uses a bamboo board on top and paulownia board on the bottom. Others include: the tsumagure daisu 爪紅台子, which features red lacquered nails; the kuwa-no-daisu 桑の台子, made of mulberry wood; the yuugao daisu 夕顔台子, which has a bottle gourd design; the ichou daisu 銀杏台子, which has a ichou leaf design, and the oimatsu daisu 老松台子, made from old pine. The kourai daisu 高麗台子, inspired by continental models, has four, black-lacquered posts, whose inner section is curved in the heart-shaped design katougata 火灯形. This daisu was reduced in size to suit the taste of Sen Soutan 千宗旦 (1578-1658). The tea utensils are displayed on the bottom shelf of the daisu with the portable burner *furo 風炉, on the left. The ladle stand *shakutate 杓立, is placed in the center back, the waste water jar *kensui 建水, in front, and the water jug *mizusashi 水指, on the right side. Originally, the daisu was called *tana 棚, meaning shelf. Tradition has it that this type of shelf was first brought to Japan from China by the Zen priest, Daiou Kokushi 大応国師 in 1267, and was adapted for use by *Ikkyuu 一休 (1394-1481), Murata Jukou 村田珠光 (1433-1502), and Souami 相阿弥 (ca. 1455-1525) in the 15c. Because the original Chinese daisu, kept at Daitokuji 大徳寺 in Kyoto was too precious to be used, Jukou built his own which is called the Jukou shelf, characterized by a top shelf enclosed by two sliding doors. Later Jukou's student, Takeno Jouou 武野紹鴎 (1502-55), changed the position of the enclosed shelf from the top to the bottom. This daisu is called the jououdana 紹鴎棚. It was Sen Rikyuu 千利休 (1522-91) who removed the enclosed shelf and used four posts instead. The daisu made for use in *shoin 書院 style rooms proved to be too large for the 4 1/2 mat tea ceremony room, yojouhan chashitsu 四畳半茶室 (see *yojouhan 四畳半). When these small tearooms came into being, after Jukou's death, the two posted kyuudaisu became popular.


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