Teiran (basket for tea set) (提籃)

Teiran is one of tea utensils used in Senchado (Japanese tea ceremony using Sencha [brewed green tea]). It is a basket to put a set of utensils used in Senchado in. Teiran is originally used at Nodate (open-air tea ceremony) and is not often used at indoor tea ceremonies.

Teiran is one of the tools introduced to Japan upon the arrival of Sencha from China. The tool had a meaning closely related to the literati culture. In the literati culture, it was regarded as an artistically elegant by enjoying tea as one likes while reading Chinese-style poems or drawing pictures at places of scenic beauty. Teiran was thus developed for the purpose of taking a set of tea ceremony utensils outdoors. Japanese literati, who adored continental literati and made it as their goal to live like them, particularly loved this tool among the utensils for Senchado, since it could be regarded as a symbol of the literati culture.

Although today, since the Teiran baskets produced by China are increasingly inferior in quality while those produced in Japan have not reached the level of satisfying demands and tastes of Senchado fanciers, good Teiran is one of the tools rarely available in markets.

It is a basket woven of bamboo or wisteria vine and many of Teiran baskets are rectangular while some have round shapes. Some types of Teiran consist of two or three tiers like Jubako (multi-tiered food box). Many of Teiran baskets which have been loved and handed down from generation to generation have a decorative handle carved in Chinese style which looks exotic.

[Original Japanese]