The Haisaji (灰匙), also known as an ash spoon or scoop, plays a crucial role in the Sumidemae procedure of the tea ceremony. It is used to transfer ash from a bowl called a Haiki to the Ro, the sunken fire pit.
To begin, the Haisaji is placed inside the Haiki bowl, which contains the ash. With the Kama (kettle) removed and positioned on the Kamashiki (kettle stand), the Haisaji is skillfully employed to scoop the ash from the Haiki and carefully deposit it into the Ro. In the Omotesenke style, four ritual strokes are made in the fire pit before the charcoal is introduced. Achieving a smooth and even release of ash from the Haisaji requires considerable practice and dexterity.
The precise handling of the Haisaji is essential to maintain the harmony and balance of the tea ceremony. It represents the meticulous attention to detail and the years of dedicated practice that tea practitioners undergo to perfect their skills. The graceful execution of the Haisaji contributes to the seamless flow and beauty of the ceremony, enriching the experience for both the host and the guests.