Around 500 years ago the first style of tea whisk (chasen) was said to have been made by Takayama Minbunojo Nyudo Sosetsu, the second son of the lord of Takayama, Ikoma in Japan. His close friend Shuko Murata, the head priest at a temple in Nara, asked if he could make a tool for stirring powdered tea in to water. What was produced was an essential tool that survives and is still made today.
In Ikoma resides the Chikumeido workshop, one of the highest quality makers of bamboo whisks in the world. The process starts by using 2 to 3 year old lengths of bamboo that are then split into 12cm lengths and then split multiple times to create thinner prongs. The tips are then shaved by hand to a thickness of approximately 0.05mm, so thin that they have a slight translucency.
We are proud to stock a small selection of these beautiful pieces of functional art by Mr Sabun Kubo, the descendent of 24 generations of "Chasen" artisans, and those at the Chikumeido workshop in Takayama, Ikoma.