Koko-Anthe residence of 4th head of the Urasenke

Sokyu Nara

This tea house is located on the former site of the residence of Soshitsu Senso, 4th head of the Urasenke school, who was invited to Kanazawa from Kyoto as tea items magistrate by the 5th Kaga feudal lord Tsunanori Maeda in 1659 (Manji 2).

In 1996 (Heisei 8), on the 300 year anniversary of Senso's death, a monument honoring the 15th head of the school, Grand Master Genshitsu. Just like when Senso built Rogetsu-An here as a copy of the Urasenke's Home Konnichi-An, the Koko-An tea house of today, with its rectangular four-mat structure, was designed and supervised by the Urasenke school, and houses writing of Grand Master Genshitsu. The small room was designed according to the traditional conventions.

Additionally, there is a small shrine for Senso near the host's entrance, where a teacup is dedicated to his memory and virtues. Taking in account the snowy climate, the waiting area is located inside the building, with a crawl-entrance to the tearoom. In addition, the prolonged eaves protect against rain and snow even on the outside.

Thanks to its connection to the Maeda family, the central "Sho Unseki" 8-mat room and the adjacent 6-mat room contain writings of the 18th and current Maeda head Toshiyasu. Another central 8-mat room "Ho Getsuken" and its adjacent 6-mat room with a large hearth are mainly used for practice.

On the second floor, there is a large 10-mat central room and an adjacent 7.5-mat room, and more seating space on the teahouse garden side in a 4.5-mat room.

In the past, the 9th Chozaemon Ohi spent his final years here. The connection with Ohi pottery is still visible in the cap on the trash hole, which is the same cap used in firing teacups, and the stone basin coated in enamel.

By the way, in Senso's time, a small river of the east outer castle moat flowed near the gates, bringing along crawfish in its stream. Going by the crawfish and whirlpool designs of the pottery that he made together with the 1st Chozaemon Ohi, we can tell he enjoyed this scene.

On the instructions in front of the gate, you can read about the legacy of the wabi-cha tea style that Senso instructed in Kanazawa, and how the rich tradition and history of the site as cradle of the Urasenke school of tea continue to live on today.

Nowadays, Soukyu Nara, tea・master at Urasenke's Konnichi-An and second son of the 10th Chozaemon Ohi, uses the teahouse as practice grounds for his every day training.

※Excerpt from Kanazawa City Board of Education.