Types of Tea whisks, Chasen for making matcha and tea ceremony. Each scool of chanoyu has a differnt type of tea whisk.

Tea whisks are called Chasen in Japanese.

Chasen is one of the indispensable utensils for tea ceremonies. Is it the most consumable item in the world of tea ceremony? The Chasen is always by your side, regardless of the season.  However, because it is a consumable item and does not look different, there are not many people, even tea masters, who are particular about the Chasen.

Where you can buy MADE IN JAPAN tea whisks (chasen).

All MADE IN JAPAN tea whisks are from Takayama-Cho, Ikoma, and NARA so that you can buy them here, or of course, nowadays, you can buy them online.

The history of Chasen

Its history goes back to the Muromachi period (1333-1573). It was around the time when Murata Jukō created “Wabicha.” The second son of the lord of Takayama Castle in Yamato, who was a good friend of Jukō at that time, invented the tea whisk based on advice from Jukō

The tea ceremony culture flourished, and the demand for tea whisks inevitably increased. Takayama became a town where the production of tea whisks flourished. Today, there are 13 tea whisk makers’ houses in Takayama, and almost 100% of domestically produced tea whisks are made by hand in this town.

A variety of Chasen (tea whisks)

Hachiku (白竹・淡竹)

Most of the chasen you see around town are probably made of white bamboo. Hachiku(白竹) is made by bleaching a variety of bamboo, also called “Hachiku”(波竹), to white and letting it dry naturally for more than one year.


This is a species that has become very rare these days. In the old days, bamboo was used as a building material for houses. The sunken hearth stained the young bamboo, which was used as a building material, and turned it black. Initially, when the house was rebuilt, they thought throwing away the bamboo would be a waste, so they thought, “Yes! Let’s use them for tea whisks! The ultimate ecology. The ultimate spirit of Wabicha!

However, today, it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain susu-take bamboo because there are no bamboo or hearths in homes. Therefore, the price is rising steadily. As a result, it seems to have become so rare that it cannot be used in everyday life. Omotesenke may one day substitute black bamboo or change to another bamboo.

Kuro-take (Black bamboo/黒竹)

Black bamboo. It is green at first and starts to turn black after the summer, and it takes about two years to turn completely black. It looks similar to susu-take bamboo but grows pretty well and is not difficult to obtain. Black bamboo is attractive because of its individuality, as its spots become the scenery.

The Future of Chasen

The tea ceremony and the tea whisk follow the same path. As long as the tea ceremony exists, there will always be a Chasen, but I feel we cannot just sit back and relax. As a tea lover and a global citizen, I feel sad to see the beautiful Japanese culture related to tea fade away more and more.

When you pay close attention to the manufacturing of Takayama Chasen, which is said to be a technique passed down from one generation to the next, the difference from reasonable foreign-made chasen is noticeable. In the manufacturing process, very detailed techniques (especially in “aji-shaving” and “chamfering”) are incorporated in many important places.

It is crucial to increase the tea ceremony population, but it is also a challenging task. One of the things we, tea lovers, can do right now is to choose made-in-japan Chasen. How about adding the Takayama Chasen to your list, which has been used for over 500 years in Japan?

Hello, I am Hanakanmuri. I love chanoyu, arts and traveling. On this site, I would love to share what's about chanoyu and useful tips if you are thinking of traveling to Japan! I will share the info from a local's point of view, what your guide book doesn't know!