As time and society progress, environmental issues have been attracting more and more attention.
One of the solutions is the concept of “Sustainable SDGs”.
Simply put, this is the concept of “sustainable” and “everlasting.
For example, it is a way of thinking and a way of being that does not waste too much resources and takes environmental destruction into consideration so that humanity can continue to live in abundance and happiness.
When you think about it in this way, the tea ceremony is also changing in line with this idea of “Sustainable SDGs,” and in fact, some parts of the tea ceremony will never change.
１：Tea Ceremony Tools that were Sustainable SDGs
Just as Japan has its own unique aesthetic sense of “wabi-sabi,” we can love the beauty of changes over time, whether they are visible or invisible.
This way of thinking would be the opposite of the mass consumption and mass production that existed in the past.
Furthermore, even if a tea utensil is broken, it can be revived by “kintsugi,” or “metal splicing.
Kintsugi is a traditional technique to repair broken or chipped tea utensils by using lacquer.
(*This is an image of the “Kintsugi” process.)
Thus, in traditional Japanese culture, the awareness of treating things with care has taken root.
２：Tea utensils that have become sustainable SDGs
Now, among such tea utensils, there are some that are disposable.
One of them is the confectionery cutter, which is used to cut and eat sweets.
In the past, for hygiene purposes, we used disposable, deodorant, antibacterial, and insecticidal products.
For example, toothpicks for cutting sweets, called kuromoji, used to be a staple in the past. They were made from kuromoji wood, which has a sterilizing effect, and were used and thrown away.
Nowadays, there are stainless steel ones, etc., which can be used over and over again as long as they are kept properly clean.
The Future of the Tea Ceremony and Sustainable SDGs
It is wonderful to be aware of the problems of mass consumption, mass production, and environmental destruction, and to try to improve them.
As the times continue to change, the fundamental wishes and ideas that people seek for happiness and a better life will not change.
In such a situation, I believe that what is required is a transformation in a way that is appropriate for the time and the era.
The form of culture that has been connected to us may change little by little.
However, I would like to continue to convey my wishes for people’s happiness, without shifting the axis and essence of the underlying culture.