YOUR BEST CHOICE FOR JAPANESE GREEN TEA
BACK
TO TOP

kUBO MASAKI SABUN

24th Generation

Heir of the Chikumeido Sabun whisk-making family business, Kubo Masaki Sabun represents the 24th generation of chasen craftsmen in his family. He has devoted his life to the making of chasen. His craftsmanship has a long history and has been passed on from generation to generation. His forefather was honoured to demonstrate the making of matcha whisks in the presence of the Emperor of Japan at the National Sports Meeting held in Nara.

More recently, Kubo Masaki Sabun was recognized as a traditional master craftsman by the Minister of International Trade and Industry of Japan in 1987, and received praise from the Minister in 1999. He was awarded the imperial "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette" in 2015.

Kubo san is also dedicated to research of the ancient art of chasen making and the training of apprentices. Thanks to the excellent quality of his chasen and his esteemed worldwide reputation, his family business Chikumeido always ranks at the top of the industry's best performance list.
The Kubo family crafting matcha whisks 130 years ago
The Emperor watching Kubo san's grandfather at work
Bamboo drying during winter

aWARDS & EXHIBITIONS

500 years of know-How

Kubo Masaki Sabun's main achievements:

In 1987, recognized as traditional master craftman
In 2008, the Chikumeido tea whisks are exhibited in the Decorative Art Museum in Louvre.
In 2009, the shop is listed as one of the "Top 300 Manufacturing Enterprises" in Japan
In 2014 & 2015 Kubo san demonstrates the Tea Ceremony during the "Japan Expo" in Paris and "NY NOW 2015" in New York.

BAMBOO FOR CHASEN

A Precious and Increasingly Rare Material

Bamboo is known to have excellent properties such as antibacterial and deodorant properties. This is one of the reasons it became the perfect medium to create chasen.

The bamboo species, the shape, number and length of tassel and bamboo colour used for chasen vary between schools and applications. There are more than 120 types of tea whisks.

The Takayama chasen aremade of phyllostachys glauca (white bamboo), black bamboo and soot bamboo.




White and black bamboos are processed from 2-3 year old high-quality bamboos by deoiling (the scene of drying bamboos in the sun during winter has become a unique landscape of the Takayama area).

However, the soot bamboos are mainly used by the Omote-senke school, which harvest bamboo grown and smoked for long periods under the eaves of houses - causing them to turn a natural dark-brown colour.

For this reason, it is increasingly difficult to find the materials used in soot bamboo whisks.

hISTORY OF TAKAYAMA cHASEN

A Secret Skill

The chasen was created by Takayama Sosetsu, the second son of the lord of Takayama city in the Muromachi period. At that time, Murata Jyuko, who was a monk in the Shomyio-ji Temple in Nara and was regarded as the father of tea ceremony, entrusted his good friend Sosetsu to make a tool for stirring tea water when he tried to grind tea leaves into fine powder for drinking. Sosetsu elaborately designed and created the first chasen.

Later, the chasen was presented to Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado during his tour, who gave praise to the invention for its ingenious and delicate design, naming it "TAKAHO".

In the past, the technique of making chasen was passed on as a secret skill by 16 members of the Takayama Family. Afterward, as Sado (the tea ceremony) became popular following the "Sen no Rikyu", different schools flourished by making chasen in different shapes and styles.

steps for Creating your unique Chasen

There are many steps in order to create a Chasen, and the technique will also depend on the type and use (different schools) of Chasen. Everything is done by hand and needs years of years of practice. There are only a few persons left that hold this art knowledge.
STEP 1
片木-大割
Katagi Owari
Divide the peeled raw bamboo in half with a large knife.
STEP 2
片木(へぎ
Katagi (Hegi)
Cut again in the middle until you reach 16 divisions.
STEP 3
片木-頭入
Katagi Head Shaping
From the edge of each string, separate the skin and body.
STEP 4
小割-頭入
Kowari Small division (head)
From the edge of each string, separate the skin and body.
STEP 5
小割-割く
Kowari Small division
Once you insert the knife in the split, separate carefully deeper to divide strings
STEP 6
小割-割く
Kowari Small division
You end up with 80 strings outside and 80 inside, for a total of 160.
STEP 7
味削-削り(あじけづり) Shichimi Shaving (Ajikezuri)
Boil the tip of the spline to soften it and gently scrape it so it becomes thinner.
STEP 8
味削-削り
Aji Kezu Taste shaving
The taste of the tea is said to change depending on this taste shaving which is the most difficult process in making chasen
STEP 9
味削-しごき
Remove of Sent (Shigoki)
After shaving it just the right thickness, curve it, so that it warps inward and shape it
STEP 10
面取>下編
Mentori to Shitaami
Splines are now shaved individually to produce a 45˚ angle on each side; and knit it with a cotton thread
STEP 11
下編>上編
Shita hen Jou hen
The thick splines opened in the second part are further reinforced by knitting around the base
STEP 12
腰並>仕立
Koshinami Koshitate
Adjust the height intervals of the inner and outer splines and the roots to adjust the overall shape and complete the Takayama Chasen.

KUBO sAN'S HANDMADE CHASEN

A secular know-how

IKKYU is delighted to introduce several models of chasen made by Kubo Masaki Sabun. We selected them based on his personal recommendations.

These delicate yet long-lasting whisks carry a centennial history. As they are handmade, each of them is the result of hard work, long hours and exceptional talent, and can be seen as unique. Using them adds to the pleasure and special moment that comes with enjoying a refreshing and delicious bowl of matcha. Click on each product below for more information about their characteristics.
handmade
white BAMBOO chasen
MORE INFORMATION
handmade
long-HANDLED chasen
MORE INFORMATION
handmade
dark BAMBOO chasen
MORE INFORMATION

REGISTER TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Stay up to date on our new arrivals, promotions and Japanese culture

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form