Matsu Kettle

Do you like my find from the flea market? My copper kettle is decorated with matsu (pine) needles, symbols of good fortune, all around the body; And better still, won't rust like the black nobby iron ones. This one was used as a mizusashi, or water container, in the Japanese tea ceremony, but I was told by the seller that I could use it to heat water. I just want to use it to make everyday tea, be it green, brown or black.

I found my treasure at the Setagaya Boroichi, one of the biggest and oldest flea markets in Tokyo. It started out back in 1578 with local farmers selling straw sandals and other handmade straw crafts in the dead of winter, which was an important source of income outside of the growing season. The market has now grown to 750 stalls selling antiques, crafts, old kimono, new and used household goods, food and drinks. The streets around Setagaya Station were packed with thousands of people, upwards of 20,000 flock to this two-day event in December and January, and thus did not lend itself to the customary pleasure of leisurely browsing, which I find relaxing and fun. But I am happy with my purchase, which followed a serendipitous surprise of bumping into a good friend in the midst of the throngs. All in all a good day!

Posted By: Jan Opdahl
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