Wednesday, December 21, 2011

San San Kudo 三々九度

An astounding number of "Delicious Tea Shops" certified by Japan Tea Association are located in Owariasahi, Aichi. Second only to Osaka in numbers, but the highest per capita in Japan. It is a rare and precious gift to the tea drinking public in that country.

Liyn-an is one of those certified tea shops selling delicious teas. It is owned and operated by the Hotta family. A valuable heirloom of the Hotta family sits on the table top of his tea house. Was it used for San San Kudo 三々九度 ceremony during his grand father's time? Or was it for Iwaizen 祝膳? I do not know and Hotta san is not sure. Possibly both.

San San Kudo is one of the oldest continuous traditional Japanese wedding customs where sake is shared. The couple takes three sips from each cup at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony. Both families drink a cup of sake to signify the union of the bride and the groom and the two families. Perhaps at a deeper level it is a union of ideas and thoughts. This beautiful Japanese wedding custom is called San San Ku-Do, which means "three (sets of) three (sips) equals nine".

Now this beautifully lacquered set with the Hotta family crest sits in Nepal at my tea corner but I probably will not be doing any San San Kudo anytime soon. It is indeed a rare and precious gift from a generous and gracious couple.


  1. Probably, my grandfather ordered this lacquer ware set for my parents' marriage ceremony.
    I am very glad if these are used for your family.
    However, please use these for your tea ceremony.
    It is your freedom when I will use how.
    I want you to use these in the free way of thinking rather than keeping these to your family's marriage ceremony.

  2. Hotta san, I am still thinking how to use it. Maybe one day a good solution will present itself. Thank you for this comment and for everything.