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Full View

Contents of Viewing the Alcove

The alcove of a tearoom. It is six feet wide and three feet deep. On the left side the front vertical support is an irregular, blonde piece of polished wood from which the bark has been removed. The support on the right is more regular and also made of polished wood. A darker piece of wood with the bark on it lines the bottom of the slightly raised floor of the alcove. The floor is covered with a tatami mat. In the right wall of the alcove there is a square opeing with a bamboo grate. It is located about two and a half feet up the wall. In the left wall, there is a arched opening with another bamoo grate. There is a scroll with Japanese script on the back wall of the alcove and a basket of flowers sits on the floor of the alcove to the left of the scroll. An incense container on a purple cloth sit on the floor to the right of the flowers.

Lecture Notes

The first thing the guest sees is the tokonama, an alcove for a hanging scroll. The calligraphy on the scroll sets the tone for the tea gathering and is ideally written by a respected Zen priest or tea master. Flowers and an incense container are also displayed in the alcove during the tea gathering.