Japanese Tea Ceremony
Tea was first introduced to Japan along with Buddhism from China in the 6th
century, but the Emperor Shomu introduced tea drinking to the country. During
the Heian period (794-1185), tea was made from steamed and dried tea leaves
ground into a powder called macha. In the 15th century, Juro Murata introduced
many of the concepts of spirituality into tea ceremony, including the special
room only used for the chanoyu. Tea ceremonies were required to follow a certain
order. Zen Buddhist concepts in the tea ceremony were introduced by Sen no Rikyu,
a Japanese tea master. During the second half of the 16th century, Sen no Rikyu
created the ceremony that is now practiced and taught in Japan called Chado. He
also designed a separate building for the ceremony based on a typical Japanese
farmer's hut. He further formalized the tea ceremony's rules and identified the
spirit of chanoyu with four basic Buddhist principles of harmony, respect,
purity, and tranquility. They represent the ideals of the tea ceremony. Sen no

Rikyu believed that we could reach tranquillity in the mind after we achieved
harmony, respect, and purity. Chado includes almost all aspects of Japanese
culture. For example, flower arrangement, ceramic, calligraphy, etc. According
to Hisamatsu Shinichi, Chado is an incarnation of Buddhism. That is not entirely
true. Not only Buddhism but also others including Taoism and Confucianism have
influenced Chado The ceremony takes place in a room designed and designated for
tea. It is called the cha*censored*su. Usually this room is inside the tea
house, away from the house, in the garden. The guests are brought into the
waiting room. Here, the assistant to the host offers them the hot water which
will be used to make tea. While here, the guests choose one of their group to
act as the main guest. The assistant then leads them to a garden. They then sit
on the waiting bench, and wait for the host. The host leads the assistant, the
main guest and the others (in that order) through the chumon, which symbolizes
door between the coarse physical world and the spiritual world of tea. The
guests and assistant purify themselves and enter the teahouse. The sliding door
is only three feet high, so everyone must bow their heads and crouch. The last
person in closes the door. Hanging in the room is a scroll painting. Each guest
admires the scroll, then examines the kettle and hearth. They are seated
according to their positions in the ceremony. The host seats himself and
greetings are exchanged, first between the host and the main guest, then the
host and the other guests. Each guest is given a meal called chakaiseki. The
meal has three courses. After the meal, each guest cleans their utensils with
soft paper. A sweet is served at the end of the meal. The host then removes the
scroll and replaces it with flowers. The room is swept and the utensils are
arranged. The host enters with the tea bowl which holds the tea whisk, the tea
cloth, and the tea scoop. The host goes to the preparation room and returns with
the waste water bowl, the bamboo water ladle, and a green bamboo rest for the
kettle lid. Then he closes the door to the preparation room. Using a fine silk
cloth the host cleans the tea container and scoop. Hot water is put into the tea
bowl, the whisk is rinsed, the tea bowl is emptied and wiped with the cloth. The
host places three scoops of tea per guest into the tea bowl. Enough hot water is
put into the teabowl to create a thin paste with the whisk. More water is then
added. The host passes the tea bowl to the main guest who bows. The bowl is
raised and turned to be admired. The guest then drinks some of the tea, wipes
the rim of the bowl, and passes the bowl to the next guest who does the same as
the main guest. When the guests have all tasted the tea, the bowl is given to
the host, who rinses it. The whisk, the tea scoop, and the tea container are
cleaned. At the conclusion, the guests express their appreciation for the tea,
and leave while the host watches from the door of the teahouse. bibliography
http://welcome.to/chanoyu Chanoyu: Copyright 1995-1998 by Ken Kato and Natsuko

Kato. http://www.art.unt.edu/ntieva/artcurr/japan Japanese Aesthetics, Wabi Sabi,
and the Tea Ceremony: by Nancy Walkup Texas Institute for Educators on the

Visual Arts http://www.holymtn.com/tea/Japanesetea.htm The Japanese Tea

Ceremony: Copyright 1998-1999 Holy Mountain Trading Company.

http://welcome.to/chanoyu Chanoyu: Copyright 1995-1998 by