March 1, 2010
Chasen-bai flowers in Tokei-ji temple
The reunion with these little and delicate flowers is one of my favorite pleasures given by this early spring season.
This plant, which is also a kind of Ume plant, is called "Chasen-bai" (i.e. Chasen-ume) because the form of its unfolded stamens is said to resemble the shape of a "chasen."
A "chasen" is one of the tea utensils (cha-dogu) for a traditional tea ceremony. This utensil is a bamboo-made tea whisk, which is used to mix powdered green tea ("matcha") and hot water uniformly in a tea bowl ("chawan".)
The delightful flowers of Chasen-bai must be a precious floral ornament for this peaceful garden of spring.