This kurotake (黒竹) dark bamboo Ōaraho Chasen (matcha whisk) was made in Takayama, Nara by Yasaburo Tanimura (谷村弥三郎) of Suikaen.
Ōaraho (大荒穂) chasen are dedicated koicha whisks, having about 36 thick and sturdy tines. Compared to the thin and flexible tines of Shin chasen or usucha whisks which are ideal for whipping up a fine foam, these koicha chasen are designed to knead koicha into a smooth and glossy syrup.
Suikaen is headed by Yasaburo Tanimura (谷村弥三郎), a 25th generation chasen maker who has carried on his family's 500 year old tradition and is one of the only 18 remaining chasen masters. These whisks are made from locally grown bamboo in the small village of Takayama (高山) in northwest Nara prefecture, famed as the only chasen making village in Japan.
Unlike mass-produced matcha whisks, these chasen are entirely handmade, without the use of machines or chemicals to expedite the bamboo growing, drying, or shaping processes, requiring immense time and skill to craft. As such, Takayama chasen have finer, more flexible tines and a greater attention to detail, which not only makes them more beautiful, but also easier and more enjoyable to use and more durable in the long run.
After use, be sure to clean your chasen by whisking it in a bowl of water or running it under the tap, using your fingers or a cloth to remove any matcha that has stuck to the tines. Avoid soaps as these can damage the porous bamboo. Stand the whisk up and let it air dry thoroughly. This will ensure that the tines keep their shape longer and prevents mold growth. To further reshape the tines, you can use a kusenaoshi, or matcha whisk shaper.
Due to the organic nature of bamboo and handmade teaware, there may be slight variations in size, capacity, and appearance.
2.1cm (0.8in) - width at handle
11.5cm (4.5in) - height
Condition: Brand new
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