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200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
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Video

The Magic Tea Kettle (Bunbuku Chagama)

Asian Art Museum Storyteller Jeff Byers tells a Japanese folktale 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.