Visiting landscaper Takuhiro Yamada, principal of Hanatoyo Landscape in Kyoto, brought a wealth of knowledge about Urasenke tea ceremony to the task to restoring the tsukubai at Shoroan. A tsukubai is an arrangement of stones, a water basin and a lantern set in a very precise manner.
First, a survey of the grounds surrounding Shoroan — the tea house built in Lili`uokalani Gardens and opened in 1997 — was conducted with all attending a hands-on workshop designed for landscapers, County park maintenance personnel, and Master Gardeners.
Next, the tsukubai area was studied in detail. It was discovered that the basin was set too low. The drain rocks were compacted and did not drain. The bamboo spout was too high. The plumbing was in need of repair. Surrounding bushes were in need of pruning. The lantern’s fire box faces the wrong direction. Most of these challenges were solved with several hours work by Hilo and Waimea landscapers under the direction of Mr. Yamada.
Plumbing repairs were completed by the County a few days later. Drainage was improved with the addition of smooth river rocks courtesy of Clayton Amemiya matching a few river rocks that were uncovered during excavation of the basin.
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Mahalo and arigato