Bamboo whisks made specifically for matcha, or takayama chasen, were created in Ikoma Takayama, Nara Prefecture along with the tea ceremony. Both have a rich history of about 500 years.
Currently in Takayama, there are 18 craftsmen who can make chasen, of which 15 are certified as traditional grand master craftsmen by the Japanese government.
To obtain certification, a person must be in the business for more than 20 years in order to take the examination by the Japanese government.
Those who have passed both writing and practical skills are recognized as nationally certified traditional grand master craftsmen. Every five years thereafter, they must take the exam again to retain their title.
Only Takayama Chasen are used in traditional tea ceremonies in Japan and around the world. Made by specialized craftsmen, they’re considered a treasured work of art — and that’s why they’re exclusively used and sought after.