A little story that is very Crane starring Doji Arami. I’ll start posting it here, hope you enjoy.
Kyuden Doji, Spring 1238
Doji Tsubaki sat in the tea house in the gardens at Kyuden Doji, preparing the tea implements. The kettle, the tea bowl, whisk, scoop, cloth…all of them decorated in one way or another with motifs of the Crane Clan. The young woman had dressed rather carefully, paying special attention to latest fashions and the seasons, from her obi right down to the kanzashi ornament that nested in her black hair.
This wasn’t her test for gempukku, that would be tomorrow. But she was treating this as if it was.
The appointed hour for tea arrived, Tsubaki rank the bell to summon her guest.
Through the low tea house door came the Imperial Treasurer Doji Arami. Perfectly attired with not one of his white hairs out of place. Tsubaki bowed low, as did Arami and as was customary both remained silent.
Tsubaki invited Arami to sit, sitting opposite him and presented wagashi cake, shaped like a Crane with its beak nesting under its wing. She laid out the tea implements for Arami’s inspection, cleaned them and then began the ritual of making the tea. Arami betrayed nothing in his face this went on, Tsubaki managed to keep her composure though inwardly her thoughts were far from that. Arami’s standards were stricter than what she had with her teachers, and she had every intention of meeting them—if not exceeding.
She presented the tea bowl to Arami with a bow, he turned it and began to drink.
When the bowl was empty, there was ritual small talk. Remarks about tea and the different artisans that created the tea implements.
Then Tsubaki began cleaning the implements to finish the ceremony, drying them with the cloth and placing them back in their box. She bowed, so did Arami. This was when her guest would take their leave, but Arami remained as he had promised to evaluate her. Tsubaki wanted for him to speak, eager to see if her performance met his approval, but Arami seemed in no hurry.
“You have a great many things that are before you after your gempukku tomorrow,” said Arami. “I would like to hear your thoughts on this.”
Tsubaki lowered her eyes. “I wish to do my duty as be fitting a daughter of the Crane.”
“So, I asked for your thoughts on say…a court position, serving the clan in a far court or…marriage, your thoughts would remain unchanged?” Arami asked.
“It would,” answered Tsubaki “I defer to the wisdom of others when it is decided how I should serve, or where or whom.”
“A perfectly acceptable answer,” said Arami with a nod of approval. “But I would present to you…something else. Your own happiness does have a role in your destiny, let me tell you a story…”
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