Chikumeido (竹茗堂)

About Chikumeido

Chikumeido (竹茗堂) is an Takayama Tea-whisk whose tradition has been kept for 500 years in Ikoma, Nara Prefecture, which is a hometown of the tea whisk.

Takayama Tea-whisk originated about 500 years ago, in the middle of the Muromachi period, when a son of Takayama feudal lord created it at the request of Murata Juko, the founder of the tea ceremony.

After that, the process was kept as secret teachings of the lord family, and was passed down for generations only as a “Isshi Sōden” technique. Later, the secret teachings were passed down to 16 main retainers, and today Takayama in Nara Prefecture is the only place where the tea whisk is produced.

Vision / Passion

Chikumeido is a leading manufacturer of tea whisk (tea whisk) and tea utensils in Takayama, Nara, and has been producing tea whisk and tea utensils for generations using the techniques and techniques of Isshi Soden.

At present, together with the current 24th Doshu and the 25th Doshu, as the top manufacturer in the industry, we are united and working hard with more than 50 craftsmen.

In addition to traditional products, we offer a range of products tailored to the needs of the new era, such as a muddler style tea set that allows you to enjoy not only matcha but also coffee and tea, and an outdoor tea set that is convenient for outdoor use.

No matter what difficult times we may encounter in the future, as long as there is a tea ceremony in Japan, we will never let go of the tea whisk even to our children. We have the blood of a tea whisk maker who has risked his life for tea whisk for generations. We are determined to make further efforts in the future to make excellent tea whisk.

History of Takayama chasen (the product from Chikumeido)

500 Years of History (about 1450-):

Surprisingly even for Japanese, the history of Takayama Chasen (高山茶筌, tea whisk), which Chikumeido took over to the present day, dates back 500 years to the (1336 -1573) during the Muromachi period and the time of Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA.

At that time, Sozei Nyudo, who lived in Minatomachi, Nara, was widely known as a master of Renga (Japanese collaborative poetry). He had a close friendship with Murata Juko, a master of tea ceremony who lived nearby, through calligraphy.

When Juko Murata invented the tea ceremony for the first time, Nyudo Sozei was asked to create stirring utensils suitable for the tea ceremony, and he worked hard to create the tea whisk.

After that, Juko, the inventor of the tea ceremony, had an opportunity to see a tea whisk by the then Emperor Gotsuchimikado in Kyoto. In addition to the words of praise for its elaborate design, Juko received the name “Takao”.

Impressed by this, Sozei Nyudo worked hard to create a tea whisk and brought it back to his hometown to keep it a secret from the family.

The tea ceremony started by Juko was also established as the “wabicha” by the famous Sen no Rikyū and became the foundation of the tea ceremony that continues to this day.

In other words, Takayama Tea-whisk had already been completed before Sen no Rikyū  established the tea ceremony.

Sengoku Period (Age of Warring States, 1467 – 1615, where samurai was there):

The Takayama Tea-whisk was presented 200 tea-whisk bottles to the Great Tea-ceremony in Kitano hosted by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, and also to Iemitsu TOKUGAWA.

Why do historical samurai warlords perform tea ceremonies? Sen no Rikyū says, “Tea is not just boiling water, making tea and drinking it.”.

It is the spirit of Zen in the sense that we should focus on what is in front of us and cherish every moment. In tea ceremony, there are various manners for serving tea, and it is said that you can “cultivate the spirit of” unconsciously by following each procedure.

One of the thinking about the tea ceremony is the spirit of “Ichigo Ichie (once-in-a-lifetime opportunity)”: In those days, before going to war, the master invited his friends to a small teahouse where everyone would gather to drink tea together. However, it was a difficult time when I might not be able to see the person who I had tea with today, but that actually happened. Therefore, it is understandable that the spirit and manner of hospitality, called “treat one’s opponent to the utmost” was established in the tea ceremony. Nobunaga ODA spread the value of tea to samurai by giving them expensive tea utensils as decorations and honors at tea parties after risking their lives in the war.


In the generation of Yorishige Takayama, 16 key vassals were allowed to make and sell secret tea whisk.

After that, the yearly payment to the Imperial family continued for a long time until the Meiji Restoration.

The family head was born into a family of tea whisk makers with a long and distinguished history that has continued for generations, and he has lived in a single line of tea whisk until today.

From Showa (1926-1989) to the present:

The previous generation enjoyed the honor of production in front of the Emperor when Nara National Sports Festival was held.

In 2008, it was exhibited in the Louvre Palace Museum in Paris, France, and in the following year was commended by the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency as a “300 manufacturing companies”.

Process: How to make it

There are about 120 kinds of Takayama Tea-whisk, and each has a different shape, bristle and material. Here, we introduce the process using a typical “80 Honryū” bamboo whisk as an example.

1Kataki – Daiwari:

Cut the peeled bamboo in half with a large knife.

2Kataki (screw):
Then cut half, half, and 16 parts of the bamboo into large pieces to make the tip.

【3】Kataki - Kashiru
Divide each piece into skin and meat with a knife and remove the meat.

4Kobari – Tairi (Kowari)
Next, cut each piece into 16 equal parts, and cut it into 10 equal parts.
【5】Kobari - Split
After cutting the meat with a knife, tear it carefully with your hands.

【6】Kobari - Split
The thick part on the outside is 80 pieces and the inside is combined to make a total of 160 pieces.

【7】Ajisuke-kezuri (Ajiezuri)
Boil the tip of the brush in warm water, and shave carefully so that it becomes thinner as you move forward.

It is the most difficult process to make a tea whisk, which is said that the taste of tea changes depending on this seasoning.

【9】Seasoning - Shigoki
Once you've shaved it to just the right thickness, shape it by pressing it into a circle.

【10】Chamfering > Lower (Mentori > Shita Ami)
In order to prevent the tea from sticking to the bristles, both corners of the thick bristles are cut thinly one by one, and knitted with cotton thread.

【11】Lower Part/Upper Part
The thick bristles opened by the lower knitting are further reinforced by twofold knitting.

【12】Koshi Namari ([[PDEFINE ~ AFFS _ FLASHED]])
Adjust the height of the inner ear, outer ear, and root to adjust the overall shape and complete the Takayama Tea-whisk.


Chasen 茶筌(茶筅):

A bamboo whisk (tea whisk) used in making tea. It is made of bamboo and is divided into several types according to the number of ears, such as 100 points or spikes. By adding hot water to matcha and stirring a tea whisk (tea whisk) in a bowl, it can be dispersed evenly.

For those with a large number of bristles, it is easy to make a lot of bubbles like Urasenke, and for those with a small number of bristles, it is suitable for those who do not make much bubbles like thick tea.

Chashaku 茶杓:

Chashaku is a spoon for scooping matcha from a chaki and putting it into a chawan. Some are made of wood such as ivory, pine, and plum, but those made of bamboo are mainly used.It is a tea utensil often made by a master of the tea ceremony, and since the master of the tea ceremony shaves it by himself, it is said that his taste and personality can be seen from a chashaku, and it is highly valued.

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