Tetsubachi Chōzubachi, Japanese Tsukubai Water Basin
A Chōzubachi (手水鉢) is an ornamental water basin in the traditional Japanese garden. It is used for ritual washing of the hands and rinsing of the mouth before a person is allowed to participate in the tea ceremony or for entering sacred grounds such as Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines. The word Chōzubachi directly translates to: Water basin for the hands.
This Chōzubachi can be used beautifully in a traditional Tsukubai arrangement. In this authentic arrangement, specific functional stones called Yaku-ishi (役石) are placed around the Chōzubachi. The stones placed on either side are called Teshoke-ishi (手燭石) and Yuoke-ishi (湯桶石), while the stepping stone in front is called Mae-ishi (前石). Behind the Chōzubachi can also be placed a stone Ikekomi lantern along with a tree and various plants. In addition, a Hishaku bamboo ladle and a water supplying Shishi Odoshi are often integrated into the arrangement.
The term Tsukubai is a conjugation of the verb Tsukubai (蹲う), which means to bend or squat. This not only refers to how the arrangement is used practically, but also emphasizes the importance of humility. An aspect that can be considered the core of Japanese society and culture as a whole.
The Japanese word Tetsuchi (鉄鉢) means iron cauldron, a multifunctional item with a characteristic shape. This shape formed the basis of a classic Chōzubachi type in the Japanese garden, the Tetsubachi.
- Depth = 21.65 inches
- Width = 21.65 inches
- Height = 11.81 inches
- Origin: Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
- Material: Hirukawa stone (蛭川石)
- Age: Meiji Period