Introducing the process of the bamboo whisk production
|1. The raw bamboo (genchiku)|
The ash bamboo (Hachiku) which has lost its stickiness and was smoothened out by intensely cold winters is cut and stored after 2-3 years growth.
As for the ash bamboo the surface is even and its fiber very gentle; both qualities make it an outstanding material to work with.
|2. Basic shape (Hegi)|
First the upper half of a whisk-sized bamboo piece will be peeled.
Then it will be divided with a sharp knife into 16 equal parts (12 for thinner pieces and 18-24 equal partitions for thicker bamboo)
|3. Finer cut (Kowari)|
The 16 parts are divided into 10 equal tines thus creating
a whisk with 160 equal tines. In case of "80pon date chasen"
those 10 tines are then divided alternately collecting 5
in the centre of the whisk and leaving 5 tines to for the
|4. Shaving (Ajikezuri)|
The bamboo tines are dampened in hot water and than shaved to become thinner from the bottom to the top.
When they are suitably thin, they are ironed and shaped.
This method of shaving varies with the shape of the whisk.
It is said that even the taste of maccha depends on this most difficult process of shaving.
|5. Molding (Mentori)|
Each tine of the chasen is now shaved individually to produce angles on its sides.
This helps the powdered tea not to stick to it.
|6. Inner and outer compilation (shitaami,ueami)|
Using a thread the tines are now separated into an inner and outer compilation.
|7. The waist is arranged, (koshinarabe)|
A bamboo spoon is pushed in between the inner and outer compilation, thus deciding height and interval between the tines.
The order of the tine tip is corrected and the shape is arranged, the height of the tines and spaces between them are corrected to make them all equal.
|Every 1st + 3rd Sunday at the Takayama bamboo forest garden (Ikoma city) you can witness a public demonstration of bamboo whisk making. |
Here is the address of Takayama bamboo forest garden:
Nara prefecture, Ikoma city Takayama Cho 3440 / TEL. 0743-79-3344
(please inquire about the demonstration time)