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Japanese Tea Culture


Furicha" is the word you may not heard of. However, it is a one way to enjoy "Bancha"(coarse tea). Use "Chasen" and wisk Bancha to make fine foams on the top of the tea. This may sounds like an inexpensive alternative to Maccha for the people who could not afford to buy Maccha. However Furicha has a completely different history from Maccha.
Kamida Akinari who is well known as a writer of "Amazuki (rainy moon)story" was very interested in the tea culture. According to his book, Furicha was a very popular way to enjoy coarse tea from long time ago in many different regions of Japan. Indeed, the area of drinking Furicha spread to all of Japan especially at some mountain areas, and there, it is still practiced in the same way. For example one kind of Furicha called "Okecha" is exist in Okusanga region of Aichi prefecture. To make this tea, first boil the water and put some coarse tea into it, then extract the tea, place in the kind of container called "Chaoke", add a little bit salt into this container, hold it with your left hand and quickly whisk the tea, and then pour tea into the cups to drink with tea biscuits.
Botebotecha from Izumo is also one kind of Furicha. To make "botebote cha", make the coarse tea, then pour into a transparent yellow cup, then take a chasen (whisk), put some salt at the edge and whisk the tea. And then put some cooked black beans, red colored rice, chopped pickles into the foamed tea, and eat them together. In other words, Furicha is not purely a tea for drinking but rather a food made based with tea. Come to think of it, in suburb of Shizuoka city before Meiji era, when men get merry, neighbor congratulate them by saying " Congratulation for getting Chafuri". This can tell that making Furicha was considered as making meals, and to know this unique way of having tea can be a valuable material for studying diversity use of tea.

(Yoichiro Nakamura)

Bukubukucha (Naha city in Okinawa prefecture)

(Naha city in Okinawa prefecture)

Botebotecha (Shimane prefecture)

(Shimane prefecture)

Batabatacha (Asahi cho, Toyama prefecture)

(Asahi cho, Toyama prefecture)

Botecha (Kagawa prefecture)

Botecha (Kagawa prefecture)

Batatatacha and whisk (Asahicho Hiruya, ShimoShinkawa gun, Toyama prefecture)

Batatatacha and whisk
(Asahicho Hiruya, ShimoShinkawa gun, Toyama prefecture)