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.

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