Chances are that if you own a chasen (tea whisk), it comes from China.
They are much cheaper so they easily outsell Japanese ones.
I must admit that I also use a Chinese one, so imagine my surprise when I received an authentic Takayama chasen from Ocha & Co, made by a master craftsman.
Thank you very much, Ocha & Co 🙂
Takayama (高山), in Ikoma city (生駒市), Nara prefecture, is the most famous place for chasen in Japan. About 90% of all Japanese tea whisks are made in that area.
With a history of 500 years, the chasen from Takayama is the result of a craft handed down generation by generation.
Inoue Wakasa has been officially recognized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (経済産業大臣) as a master traditional craftsman.
This particular one has 80 tines. Ocha & Co. also sells one with 100 pines.
I have never owned a Takayama chasen. I’ll treasure it as a work of art, which indeed it is.
It’s said that a high quality chasen makes matcha taste better.
I haven’t put that claim to the test, but I have found it to be true regarding teaware.