The Book of Tea: 10

Chapter IV The Tea Room

第四章  茶室

To European architects brought up to the traditions of stone and brick construction, our Japanese method of building with wood and bamboo seems scarcely worthy to be ranked as architecture. It is but quite recently that a competent student of Western architecture has recognised and paid tribute to the remarkable perfection of our great temples. Such being the case as regards our classic architecture, we could hardly expect the outsider to appreciate the subtle beauty of the tea-room, its principles of construction and decoration being entirely different from those of the West.

The tea-room (the Sukiya) does not pretend to be other than a mere cottage – a straw hut, as we call it. The original ideographs for Sukiya mean the Adobe of Fancy. Latterly the various tea-masters substituted various Chinese characters according to their conception of the tea-room, and the term Sukiya may signify the Adobe of Vacancy or the Adobe of the Unsymmetrical. It is an adobe of Fancy inasmuch as it is an ephemeral structure built to house a poetic impulse. It is an Adobe of the Vacancy inasmuch as it is devoid of an ornamentation except for what may be placed in it to satisfy some aesthetic need of the moment. It is an Adobe of the Unsymmetrical inasmuch as it is consecrated to the worship of the Imperfect, purposely leaving some thing unfinished for the play of the imagination to complete. The ideals of Teaism have since the sixteenth century influenced our architecture to such degree that the ordinary Japanese interior of the present day, on account of the extreme simplicity and chasteness of its scheme of decoration, appears to foreigners almost barren.

The first independent tea-room was the creation of Senno-Soyeki, commonly know by his later name of Rikiu, the greatest of all tea-masters, who, in the sixteenth century, under the patronage of Taiko Hideyoshi, instituted and brought to a high state of perfection the formalities of the Tea-Ceremony. The proportions of the tea-room had been previously determined by Jowo – a famous tea-master of the fifteenth century. The early tea-room consisted merely of a portion of the ordinary drawing-room partitioned off by screens for the purpose of the tea-gathering. The portion partitioned off was called the Kakoi(enclosure), a name still applied to those tea-rooms which are built into a house and are not independent constructions. The Sukiya consists of the tea-room proper, designed to accommodate not more than five persons, a number suggestive of the saying “more than the Graces and less than the Muses,” an anteroom (midsuya) where the tea utensils are washed and arranged before being brought in, a portico(machiai) in which the guests wait until they receive the summons to enter the tea-room is unimpressive in appearance. It is smaller than the smallest of Japanese houses, while the materials used in its construction are intended to give the suggestion of refined poverty. yet we must remember that all this is the result of profound artistic forethought , and that the details have been worked out with care perhaps even greater than that expended on the building of the richest palaces and temples. A good tea-room is more costly than an ordinary mansion, for the selection of its materials, as well as its workmanship, requires immense care and precision. Indeed, the carpenters employed by the tea-masters form a distinct and highly honoured class among artisans, their work being no less delicate than that of the makers of lacquer cabinets.

The tea-room is not only different from any production of Western architecture, but also contrasts strongly with the classical architecture of Japan itself. Our ancient noble edifices, whether secular or ecclesiastical, were not to be despised even as regards their mere size. The few that have been spared in the disastrous conflagrations of centuries are still capable of aweing us by the grandeur and richness of their decoration. Huge pillars of wood from two to three feet in diameter and from thirty to forty feet high, supported, by a complicated network under the weight of the tile-covered slanting roofs. The material and mode of construction, though weak against fire, proved itself strong against earthquakes and was well suited to the climatic conditions of the country. In the Golden Hall of Horiuji and the Pagoda of Yakushiji, we have noteworthy examples of the buildings have practically stood intact for nearly twelve centuries. The interior of the old temples and palaces was profusely decorated. In the Hoōdo temple at Uji, dating from the tenth century, we can still see the elaborate canopy and gilded baldachins, many-coloured and inlaid with mirrors and mother-of-pearl, as well as remains of the paintings and sculpture which formerly covered the walls. Later at Nikko and in the Nijo castle in Kyoto, we see structural beauty sacrificed to a wealth of ornamentation which in colour and exquisite detail equals the utmost gorgeousness of Arabian or Moorish effort.

 石と煉瓦を積み立てる伝統に育ってきたヨーロッパの建築家にとって、日本人の木と竹で家を建てる方法は全く建築に値しないと考えるであろう.しかしここ最近西洋建築の有能な学徒が我らの大寺院の素晴らしい完璧を認め、賛辞を送るようになった.我々の古典建築に関してもこの具合であるから、茶室の微妙な美しさ、その建築と装飾の原則が西洋のそれとは全くことなるものを外部が鑑賞できることを私達は全く期待し得ない.

 

 茶室(数寄屋)はただの小屋でありそれ以上望むものではない.いわゆる藁屋と呼ぶに過ぎない.元来の数寄屋の表意は「好き屋」である.最近では様々な茶の宗匠が茶室に対する自分の考えに応じて漢字を当てたので、数寄屋の意味は空き家か数寄屋になっている.詩的な衝動で建てられた儚い構造物であるからこそ「数寄屋」なのだ.その瞬間のある種唯美的必要を満たすために設けられたものを除いて、調度品を欠いているからこそ「空き家」なのである.故意に、あるものを完成への想像するため戯れに未完成にして、不完全を敬い聖別するからこそ数寄屋なのである.茶道の理念は十六世紀以来、我が国の建築に現在の日本の内装という点である程度影響を及ぼしたが、装飾構造の極度の簡素と貞淑のために、外国人にとってはほとんど荒廃したように見えるのである.

 初めて独立した茶室が生み出したのは千宗易、のちに千利休の名で知られた、最も偉大な茶の宗匠であり十六世紀に太閤秀吉の庇護下で茶の湯の形式を定めて完成させ、高みの領域に至らしめた.茶室の広さは以前に十五世紀の有名な宗匠紹鷗によって定められていた.初期の茶室は茶会のため屏風で仕切った普通の居間に過ぎなかった.仕切りの一部は「囲い」と呼ばれ、その名前は未だ、家の中に作られ、独立した建物でない茶室に使われている.数寄屋は、「グレース神の数より多く、ミューズ神の数よりも少ない」という諺の暗示する数、五人よりも少ない人数を歓待するために設計された茶室と、茶器を茶室に持ち込む前に洗って並べておく控えの間「水屋」と、客が茶室に招来されるまで待つ玄関「待合」と、茶室と待合をつなぐ庭の小道を「露地」からなる.茶室の見た目は印象的ではない.それは最も小さい日本の家屋よりも小さく、その建築に使われた材質は洗練された貧しさを暗示する意図が秘められている.すべてこのことは深い技芸的先見から出たものであり、その細部に仕上げられた配慮は、最も豪奢な御殿や寺院よりに払われたものよりも周到であることを記憶せねばなるまい.良い茶室は普通の邸宅よりも費用がかかっている.職人の手腕と同様に、材質の選択に途轍もない配慮と精密性が求められるからである.実際、茶人に雇われる大工は、職人の中で一目置かれ、名誉あるもので、その仕事は漆器職人のそれに劣らぬ、細心の手際を要するものである.

 茶室はあらゆる西洋建築と異なるだけでなく、日本の古典建築そのものと強烈な対照をなしている.我々の古代の気高い殿堂は、俗的であろうと宗教的であろうと、単なる大きさでさえも軽蔑しがたいものであった.世紀の大災害を免れたものごく少数は未だその装飾の豪華絢爛さで我らに畏敬の念を抱かせる力を持っている.直径二、三尺、高さ三十尺から四十尺の巨大な木の柱は傾斜した瓦屋根の重さのもと複雑な網状の斗栱によって支えられる.材質と建築の様式は火に弱いものの、地震に強いことを証明し国の気候条件に適していた.法隆寺の金堂と薬師寺の塔は、十二世紀近く無傷で実際に立っていることの顕著な例であろう.古刹と宮殿の内装は惜しみなく装飾されていた.宇治の鳳凰堂では十世紀から我々は精巧な玉座と金襴の天蓋、かつての壁画や精巧な彫像はもとより、多彩な色とはめ込まれた鏡、螺鈿細工を見ることができる.後の日光や京都の二条城のように、優美な細部と色彩において、我々はアラビア様式やムーア様式の豪華絢爛に等しい装飾の豊かさに構造上の美しさを犠牲にした例を見ることができる.

 ながらく時間が空いてしまいました.季節の変わり目で油断して少し体調を崩したのでした.涼しいどころか寒くなりましたね.鍋物が美味しくなる季節です.久しぶりの対訳です.

投稿者: 吾郎

2019年12月11日に事務所創設.法律以外の様々な問題を取り扱います.Office est. 11/12/19. Our articles include essay, translation, study about literature, psychiatry(psychopathology), humanities and sometimes roofless vehicles.