Shin Kazuho chasen is made of hachiku white bamboo and is suited for preparing matcha with a lot of creamy foam on top, as preferred in the Urasenke Tea School. The chasen is meant to be used and as such, should ultimately be considered disposable. Even with proper use and storage, the bamboo can crack and the tines will break, at which point it should be replaced.
Master craftsman Tanimura Tango meticulously makes bamboo chasen (tea whisks) that are used in the preparation of matcha powdered tea. He is the current descendant of a family that has been making chasen for the past 500 years over 20 generations in Takayama, Nara prefecture.
Enthusiasm for Tanimura chasen goes back just as far. The name “Tango” was bestowed on the Tanimuras by the Tokugawa Shogunate as the designated provider of chasen. Since then each successive son takes “Tango” as a professional name when his father retires. Tanimura-san’s predecessor made whisks prior to the birth of Sen-no-Rikyu (1522-1591) from whom all three major Japanese tea schools are descended.
Until the end of the Meiji era (1868-1912), the method of making the chasen was kept secret, and was only passed on to the eldest son among the families of chasen makers. Each tea whisk is handmade from a single piece of bamboo and there are over 100 types and forms to meet the exacting requirements of different tea schools.