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The Magic Tea Kettle (Bunbuku Chagama)

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Asian Art Museum Storyteller, Jeff Byers, tells a Japanese story about a magical raccoon-dog, or tanuki, who uses its shape shifting powers to reward its rescuer for his kindness. In Japanese, "bun" is distribute; "buku" is fortune; and "chagama" is tea kettle. "Bunbuku chagama" roughly translates to "happiness bubbling over like a tea kettle." A "chagama" (茶釜) is an old style of Japanese tea kettle used for traditional tea ceremonies. They are often round with two rings, one on each side for carrying and/or hanging over an old-style indoor fire. We have an example in our teahouse at the Asian Art Museum.

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