Kobukusa (cloth which is about one fourth of the size of a regular silk cloth used in the tea ceremo (古袱紗)
A kobukusa is a small cloth used at some tea ceremony schools when they view tea bowls or when they carry out already whisked tea and present it to various other guests.
Uses of kobukusa
This is placed under a tea bowl when the host of a tea ceremony carries a cup of whisked powdered green tea, and additionally, it is placed on a tatami mat to view a tea bowl at some tea ceremony schools or at some tea ceremony parties. However, the Omotesenke school does not use kobukusa.
After carrying a tea bowl, the host folds his or her kobukusa double and puts it into the inside of the front flap of kimono. Guests fold their kobukusa ensuring the wasa (a seamless and folded side of a fukusa or a kobukusa) part should be folded over to the left, and turn the folded part (wasa) downward before putting it into the inside of the front flap of kimono with kaishi (Japanese tissue) and a fukusa (a small silk cloth used in the tea ceremony).
Most kobukusa are made of meibutsugire (also called meibutsuretsu, which literally means "named fabrics," representing cloths with certain woven patterns), or donsu (damask silk), but various materials, colors, and patterns are used. Although men's kobukusa generally use green and purple as well as other cold colors and women's kobukusa use warm colors, rules of kobukusa colors are less strict than fukusa; moreover, some kobukusa can be used by both men and women depending on colors and patterns. Seasonal patterns such as plums, cherry blossoms, and snows are used only during their relevant seasons because a sense of the season is considered very important in the Japanese tea ceremony. However, some people allow cherry blossom patterns to be used all year round as cherry blossoms are thought to be the symbol of Japan.
The size of a kobukusa is one fourth of a fukusa, and its shape is almost a square although its width is a little wider. This size is common to both men's kobukusa and women's kobukusa.
The right side is tucked in before being sewed in order to make this part seamless, and this side is called 'wasa.'