Chabitsu (茶櫃)

Chabitsu (also called chahitsu, "茶櫃" in Chinese characters) is a lidded container, in which a set of Sencha (non-powdered green tea) tea utensils are stored.

It is short and cylindrical in shape. The lid can also be used as a tray. The Chinese character '櫃' represents a large wooden box with a lid. Recently, however, there are chabitsu which are made of plastic.

Traditionally, this chabitsu was found in every household. Until a little while ago, the chabitsu was an indispensable part of the stage prop next to the chabudai (traditional low dining table) in TV dramas depicting family life inside the house. However, the chabitsu has been rapidly disappearing from the ordinary household due to the spread of tea sold in plastic bottles. The chabitsu can been seen in old Minshuku (private home-type inns which provide room and board) and Japanese-style hotels.

Each Sencha tea school has a beginners' course which often teach the preparation of tea using the chabitsu. And in those courses, the original wooden chabitsu is employed.

[Original Japanese]