Ko school of tea ceremony of the Ogasawara family (小笠原家茶道古流)
The Ko school of tea ceremony of the Ogasawara family is a tea ceremony school descended in the Kokura Domain, Buzen Province (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture). It is also referred to as the Ko school of Ogasawara. It is allegedly founded by Ine FURUICHI, and it is not a school originated by SEN no Rikyu or SEN no Sotan. Its fellow organization is Mitokukai.
The Furuichi clan was a group of powerful kokujin (local lords) in Yamato Province, and both Ine FURUICHI, who was the founder, and Choin FURUICHI, who was the second generation head of the school (and a younger brother of Ine) were disciples of Juko MURATA. Especially, Choin, who was dubbed the 'first disciple,' was bestowed instructions on the Way of Tea called 'Kokoro no Fumi' (Heart's Note). Choin was reputed to be a suki-meijin (a master of the refined arts and the Way of Tea) in the book on the Way of Tea titled "YAMANOUE no Soji ki."
In the early Edo period, Tadazane OGASAWARA, who was the lord of the Kokura Domain, hired Ryowa FURUICHI, who was a descendant of Choin, as a sado (person in charge of the tea ceremony), and the school came to be called Ko school of the Ogasawara family (since the Chinese character for "Furu" [古] in "Furuichi" is also pronounced "Ko" in Japanese). Tadazane was a renowned daimyo (Japanese feudal load) and a master of the tea ceremony. The Furuichi family succeeded the position of the sado for the lord of Ogasawara for generations thereafter until the end of the Edo period, with the culmination of the school occurring around the time of Munemichi FURUICHI in the late Edo period.
Like other daimyo cha (tea practiced by feudal lords), the school declined after the Furuichi family left the lord in the Meiji period. But in 1973, Tadamune OGASAWARA, who was the 32nd head of the main Ogasawara family, which is the family of lord of Kokura Domain, assumed the position of the president of the Ko school to promote development of the school. In 1992, Tadamune concurrently assumed the position of iemoto (the head family of a school). The present iemoto is Nagamasa OGASAWARA, who is the 33rd head of the main Ogasawara family.