This item is the Chagama (茶釜), a tea utensil used in the tea ceremony, and it is a pot for boiling the water used for tea ceremonies. Chagama is generally made from iron, and some Chagamas are made from gold and silver. Even now, when holding a tea ceremony, there is a saying, Kama-wo Kakeru (釜をかける, to hold a tea ceremony or a tea party), and Chagama is an indispensable part of tea ceremonies. Chagama has a long history, and it is said that it originated from the continent and was first made in the Kamakura (鎌倉, 1185-1333) to Muromachi (室町, 1336-1573) period.
This Chagama is made from iron, and its design is the Unryu Zu (雲龍図). Initially, the dragon was an imaginary creature in ancient foreign traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbol of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, the belly is the Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan that looks like a snake and has a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance. The dragon design is seen in various sword mountings; it tells us that many Samurai favored this dignified beast motif.
About the cloud pattern, clouds bring blessed rain and snow, and their movements significantly affect the day’s weather. Due to its supernatural power, a theory says that gods, spirits, and dragons dwell in the clouds. In Japan, there is a belief that worships the dragon as a water god. Since rice cultivation has flourished in this country, people always treat water as an essential resource. We imagine some people wished for a plentiful harvest in the Unryu theme. From such a religious aspect, we could infer that dragon designs were familiar to people. This Chagama’s design is such an auspicious theme.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
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【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
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