Most utensils used at tea gathering are kept in paulownia or cedar wood boxes which have inscriptions on them in sumi ink.
Taking tea bowls and tea containers as examples, Raku ware tea bowls' box inscriptions tell us the maker's generation in the Raku family, and the name of the tea bowl. This is written by the Iemoto or by tea practitioners who are eminent calligraphers on the underside of the box lid (and sometimes on top of the lid). This makes clear the name and lineage of the tea bowl or tea container. There is also a guarantee of the utensil's authenticity written on the box by the Iemoto.
As well as being made somewhere, by a certain person, these utensils have a poetic name (mei) given to them by the Iemoto or by a famous tea practitioner. A name given to a utensil has an important role to play in the co-ordination of utensils (toriawase).
As we have already seen, it is utensils that satisfy the spirits of the guests and convey the care taken by the host to the guests who gather at a tea gathering. The function of the name that is attached to the utensil is to strengthen its power of joining the hearts of host and guests. At a tea gathering the scroll in the alcove plays a central role in conveying the host's spirit to the guests, and through the names of the tea bowl and tea scoop, the spiritual communication of the host and guests is considerably increased.
The box inscription 'kakitsuke' does not merely show the authenticity of what is in the box, but also the charm of its history and the interest of the utensil can be doubled by its name, which has colourful and variegated connotations.
Many tea utensils have been handed down over a long period, from the middle of the Muromachi period to the present day, passing through the hands of famous tea practitioners of many different social levels, ranging from shoguns to common people, who have looked after them and passed them down. Today they can be seen everywhere.