Taking Tea at the Imperial Tea Room

This was written to be posted on the noticeboard of the Imperial Tea Room, the Legend of the Five Rings Club on yahoo. I originally intended to do soomthing with dialogue, but half way through it turned into a mood piece and I started trying to think of a Haiku to express the mood that I was in.

Bayushi Hituro enters and bows to the Geisha by the door, Ona-chan and waits until he is conveyed to a table, near to the back of the main room, where the half opened shoji screens give a view of a small enclosed garden with carefully raked stones, a small statue of the Fortune Benten, his hands opened in greeting, and a rose bush, its scent slightly flavouring the air.

Sitting down at the side of the low table Hituro orders a pot of the finest tea brought from the southern provinces of the Crab, near to the lands of the Boar and the Falcon Clans. Through the half open door he can see Ono-chan breaking a little bit off the tea block, carefully removed from its drawer and unwrapped slightly, before moving out of sight. Because it is only early in the day the tea house is almost empty. Only one man, perhaps a ronin to judge from the ill-kept state of his armour, sits in the further corner drinking some sake and idly rolling a set of fortunes and winds dice. Close to the door stands another man, perhaps a jisamurai, wearing the colours of the teahouse, clearly their constanble.

When the tea has been brought and carefully poured into the elegant cups, simple because the basic design of a thickly glazed raku pot and cups were demanded by the Tea Masters and even a simple tea house like this the design carried over. Indeed the cups might well have been made under the watchful eye of a Kakita tea master, they have the look about them of Crane pottery. Fine white china as thin as an eggshell, through which, if you held it to the light, you could sometimes make out mons and designs built into the thickness of the glaze. Hituro sipped at the tea and found it as rich as he had hoped. The fumes of fine tea always helped to relax him, to clear his mind of present worries as if the tea scent itself travelled into his head. It was no wonder that the Tea Masters put such time into their ceremonies.

Calling for a sheet of rice paper, brush and ink Hituro attemps to put his thoughts down on paper, as once he was taught by his master.

living mountains
smell of warm water
green tea

The strokes of the brush on the clean paper, tinted slightly pink like the colour of the roses, is the only sound in the room for a moment. In the corner the drunken ronin grunts at his dice and calls for more sake. Hituro smiles, this is a fine place, perhaps he will wait here this afternoon and see who might come by.