Fuden-An： Leaves from a Tea-Journal
Osaka Shogunate Plan[Feb 2019]
KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )
As in past years, the New Year began with a mild climate. There was some news towards the end of last year that a cold wave would hit us but this turned out to be groundless and year got off to a very fine start. I mentioned this several times in my journal last year but Japan will have a historic moment of change in May when the new Emperor will be enthroned. This happy event will be something we can all be proud of and at the same time it is a good opportunity for some introspection.
In the end of last year, there was some big news regarding the founder our school Kobori Enshu. It seems that in the beginning of the Edo period, the Tokugawa administration had plans to move the shogunate government to Osaka. This was discovered in a letter that Enshu, who at the time had been assigned the responsibility for rebuilding Osaka Castle following the Siege of Osaka, had written to Todo Takatora, his father in law and close advisor to the Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada and the third Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu. This was covered in a large scale by the NHK news.
In this letter Enshu suggests that Takatora offer the stones to be used in the garden of the tea room within Osaka Castle as a gift, and describes how Enshu is making preparations on the assumption that Osaka Castle will eventually be home to Tokugawa. This was written December 17th, 1626. This big discovery shows how there were plans at the time to move the shogunate government to Osaka from Edo Castle and reveals just how important Enshu’s role was within the shogunate government.
In fact, just two days before this had been written on December 15th, in a letter Enshu had written to a vassal of Hosokawa Tadatoshi, there was mention of matters relating to Osaka Castle, and it is thought that Enshu had invested a lot of effort into Osaka Castle. In any case, it will be announced soon that this document also will be the subject of research and I am looking forward to this greatly.
On New Year’s Day I composed the following poem inspired by the theme of ‘light’ for an imperial poetry party:
More than today, may the pursuit of art of the tea prosper and shine tomorrow
I would like to make this year a fruitful year as much as possible.