Poetic Names for Tea Scoops 茶杓の銘 Chashaku no Mei

Poetic Names  (mei 銘) for Tea Scoops  (chashaku)

Poetic names for chashaku are given to tea scoops that metaphorically celebrate, or conceptually associate with the individual characteristics of a chashaku. It is revealed by the host at a key conversation point between host and guest towards the end of a tea gathering. The mei thus becomes a strong factor in the overall ambience of the tea gathering, leaving a lingering image of beauty with the guests as they take their leave and reflect on the gathering in the hours and days after. 


Poetic names are given to various objects used in tea (tea bowl, ceramic vessel, tea caddy, a unique type of confectionary, matcha, chashaku) and it can capture the essence of the object, seeping through its texture to its core. This practice of naming art works and precious ritual has existed in Japan since the Heian Period (794 to 1185). The character mei 銘means to carve a name into metal or rock, and it has gathering a wider meaning overtime to name what is written on one's heart or soul or a name that speaks the spirit of a thing of such profound meaning that it cannot be forgotten. 


Metaphorical mei

Historical mei

Seasonal mei

Playful mei

Poem mei

Mei examples

To access to an extensive library of over 120 poetic names created and compiled by Adam Sōmu Wojciński and Sōmu Shachū for keiko meetings and chaji, please join Adam Sōmu Wojciński's Patreon.