Tea ceremony kuchikiri 2017/11/10

Yesterday I enjoyed a traditional tea ceremony, kuchikiri. It is considered as a New Year ceremony among people in the tea world.

“Kuchikiri” means “to open a mouth” in Japanese. It is a ceremony to break the seal of the special pot which contains new tea powders.

Tea leaves were harvested in early summer and new tea powders are ready to be used through several processes after harvesting.

Firstly, in early summer, top quality special tea leaves for the ceremony was carefully selected by a master of a tea maker. He put raw green tea for thick tea in a specially made paper bag and left it in a beautifully decorated pot together with other green tea for thin tea. The master carefully sealed the mouth of the pot with his signature on.

After several months, the green tea inside the pot has well matured and is ready for use.

Kuchikiri ceremony has been traditionally performed on around 10th day of 10th month by lunar calendar which falls on around mid November


A master of ceremony enters into tea room with a pot and other tools. He unwinds a specially designed beautiful string and removes a protection of a mouth of a pot. He beautifully handles a knife and winds a sheet of Japanese paper on it. Then, with the knife he cut the paper protecting the mouth of the pot. He takes out with chopsticks a paper bag which contains matured tea leaves for thick tea.


It was the 3rd day after the beginning of winter. It was a bit chilly but fine day. We thoroughly enjoyed the solemn ceremony and all of us were fully satisfied with sweet taste together with noble fragrance of the new tea.


 a pot specially protected and bound