The holy silk cloth Fukusa (袱紗)

In the japanese tea ceremony (Chanoyu), the host uses a silk cloth („Fukusa“ 袱 紗) to clean the utensils. These utensils are primarily tea container (Natsume, Chaire) teaspoon (chashaku) The Fukusa consists of a piece of silk that is only folded on one edge and sewn on the other three edges. It is almost square, but on closer inspection it is a slight rectangle. Men and women use different colored Fukusa: women usually red (less often orange), men purple. This color choice is representative of the feminine „Yin“ and the masculine „Yang“ associated energy. The two colors – purple and red – were already sacred colors in ancient China, rooting in the phyilosophy of Yin and Yang, which should always be balanced. Dark purple stands for the YIN part – the shadow that darkens, coolness and moisture, the female. Bright red stands for YANG – fire, light, the dry, the male. As a symbol for balance of Yin and Yang, men carry the purple and women carry the red coloured fukusa.

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