In the Japanese tea ceremony, the Yakan (薬缶) plays a vital role in replenishing the Mizusashi, ensuring that the tea room is returned to its original state before the guests entered. The Yakan serves as a water pitcher used to pour back the same amount of water into the Mizusashi as was initially used to prepare tea for the guests.
When carrying the Yakan, it is held with the left hand in front of the body at belly level, as it is considered a relatively less significant item in the tea ceremony. To prevent any water spillage while walking, the right hand holds a Chakin, a silk cloth, placed under the spout of the Yakan. This cloth is pressed against the lid of the Yakan while pouring fresh water into the Mizusashi, ensuring a smooth and controlled transfer.
The Yakan’s role is to maintain the harmony and balance within the tea ceremony, allowing the tea room to be preserved in its original state throughout the ceremony’s duration.