Japanese Silver Tea Ceremony Utensils

Japanese Silver Youji Sweets Cutter | Kashikiri Tea Ceremony Utensil

Age:Showa 1950s

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 4-0”L

Offered is a set of five Japanese solid silver Youji sweets and fruit cutters and used by guests at the Japanese tea ceremony. These gorgeous silver dessert forks are in the shape of a tied knot at the top with brushed gold accents and stamped 925 silver on the back of each piece.  

Condition: New never used. Excellent as made and comes in the original Kiri wood box.

NOTE: Youji sweet forks, (silver, metalware, or bamboo), are either carried by all guests or supplied by the host coming to the tea ceremony. When moist sweets called Omogashi are served before drinking Koicha thick tea, these are placed on the Kaishi paper with Kuromoji chopsticks. The sweet is moist and therefore they shouldn’t be handled with the hands because it makes the fingers sticky. It would be quite rude to handle the other utensils like the Chawan, Dashibukusa, etc. with sticky fingers, so the Youji is used to bring the Omogashi from the Kaishi paper to the mouth. Sometimes when the Omogashi is too large to eat in one bite, it can be cut once or twice using the same Youji. 

Wagashi, traditional Japanese confections, are experiences that are said to stimulate the five senses. Youji was introduced to Japan by Zen Buddhists to easily cut and eat these wonderful confections. The Japanese treasure Wagashi, and believe it supports the following experiences:

Taste: enhance the flavors that delight the palate.

Smell: subtle fragrances of natural ingredients which do not alter in any way the delicate fragrance of the green tea accompanying their tasting.

Touch: when you cut the cake with your hand or a small wooden pick it adds to the sensation when in the mouth. Each cake has a gustative and tactile texture of its own.

Sight: the beauty of the colors and shapes used, evoking the seasons and leaving the pleasure to the imagination of varied dream landscapes.

Hearing: the ear evoking the seasons, dream scenes, legends, or even historical episodes which the term Oishi or Oishi Ryorui, (meaning enjoyable or delicious food/cuisine), is often heard when fine food gives rise to a wonderful taste experience.