Suichu (fresh water container) (水注)

Suichu (also called "mizutsugi") is a utensil used in the sado and sencha tea services for pouring water. The usages in the sado and sencha tea services are slightly different.

Suichu in sado tea ceremony
It is also referred to as a 'mizutsugi.'

The suichu used in the sado tea ceremony differ slightly from school to school; however, they can basically be classified into the following two categories.

Suichu type
This type is made from ceramics in the form of a pot, and is provided with a handle on the rear side of the body.

Tea kettle type
This type is made from metal.

Method of use
There are also differences in the method of use depending on the school or type of service; however, its main role is as a utensil that is kept in mizuya (the washing place in a tea-ceremony room) from which it is removed at the end of a service in order to add water to the mizusashi (a water jug) for holding water that is used in the tea ceremony.

Suichu in sencha tea service
Depending on the school, the suichu used in the sencha tea service is called a 'suiso,' 'mizusashi', 'suikan,' 'mizutsugi,' 'suiteki' or 'chushi.'

They are roughly divided into the following.
Rear handle type: Suichu with a handle provided on the rear of the body
Top handle type (teiryo style): Tea kettle type, with a handle provided on the top of the body
Split handles type: Only the handle portion is divided into two metal portions
However, there are very few suichu made from metal, with most being made from ceramics, many in interesting forms or vibrant decorations.

Examples that were brought over from China are prized in the same manner as other utensils used in the sencha tea service.

Suichu used in sado tea ceremony do not occur in a wide array of variations; however, in the sencha tea service, there are a diverse array of forms, including 'gourd shaped,' 'tube shaped,' 'square' and 'peach shaped' types. It is said that in the Ming and Qing dynasties of China, vessels originally used for serving wine were adopted for use in the tea service, and there are many extravagantly designed examples.

Method of use
Although the method of use differs from school to school and depending on the type of service, the suichu fulfills various roles throughout the service, being used for adding water to the tea kettle and to the bofura (water pot), for pouring water into the tea bowl, teapot, and yuzamashi (water cooling jar) at the start of the ceremony to wash and purify them, and to cool the tea bowl and teapot in the heat of the summer. As there are many vibrantly formed examples, it is thought that there are many chances for displaying suichu prominently.

[Original Japanese]