Chasen is a bamboo whisk for making matcha tea. Some of you already know from our social media, the highlight of my last trip to Japan was visiting chasen maker Yasaburo Tanimura in Takayama (Nara prefecture). It is the only town in Japan where chasens are made. The area has good bamboo and good cold winters but not too much snow unlike Kyoto, and this combination is essential for chasen making. And it’s also very close to Kyoto, where all tea ceremonies occurred 500 years ago.
Yasaburo Tanimura has been making chasens for more than 530 years. Their chasen are used by both "omotesenke" and “urasenke” which are the main schools of tea ceremony practice.
From start to finish, all processes involved in making chasen, takes 5 years, by using a specific sort of bamboo. They say the good bamboo is more and more difficult to harvest and it requires many years of experience to choose right ones. It takes about 35 years to be considered a good chasen artisan. They have difficulty finding younger generations to carry on the tradition and know-how of chasen making. As each chasen is made, one by one, by artisan’s hands', quantities that they can make are limited. Even in Japan, only 70% of chasens sold are made in Japan, and more than 90% of chasens sold worldwide are made outside of Japan. One of Maison Sato’s primary concepts is to introduce Japanese traditions and authenticity to the world which is why we are so proud to have acquired these chasens.
Originally, a chasen was only used once as you had to propose the best of the best for your invitees. But a chasen can actually make tea about 500 times before needing to be replaced.
We are honoured to be able to introduce our selection of 4 traditional chasens carefully made by Yasaburo Tanimura.
White Bamboo “Kazuho" (about 70 pistils) for both thick and thin matcha
White Bamboo “80-pon date” (about 80 pistils) for thin matcha
Easy to hold and use. Beginner friendly.
White Bamboo “100-pon date” (about 100 pistils) for thin matcha
Thicker edge. Easy to use. Beginner friendly
Purple bamboo (Shitake) “Shin" (about 70 pistils) for thin matcha