"harmony", "respect", "purity", and "tranquility"), expressing the four key principles of the Way of Tea. Rae Oliver November 2, 2020. ) The items are treated with extreme care and reverence as they may be priceless, irreplaceable, handmade antiques, and guests often use a special brocaded cloth to handle them. "Japanese Tea Ceremony." Its original meaning indicated quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste "characterized by humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity, imperfection, and asymmetry" and "emphasizes simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, and celebrates the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials. He also took tea seeds back with him, which eventually produced tea that was considered to be the most superb quality in all of Japan. Hideyoshi's tastes were influenced by his teamaster, but nevertheless he also had his own ideas to cement his power such as constructing the Golden Tea Room and hosting the Grand Kitano Tea Ceremony in 1587. According to the school, this certificate may warrant that the student has mastered a given temae, or may give the student permission to begin studying a given temae. There are two main ways of preparing matcha for tea consumption: thick (濃茶, koicha) and thin (薄茶, usucha), with the best quality tea leaves used in preparing thick tea. The guests are summoned back into the tea room and they purify themselves again before examining the items in the room. The tea should be drunk in small sips. The first documented evidence of tea in Japan dates to the 9th century. Classes may be held at community centres, dedicated tea schools, or at private homes. "tea box"). After the death of Rikyū, essentially three schools descended from him to continue the tradition. Serving ware and garnishes are as much a part of the kaiseki experience as the food; some might argue that the aesthetic experience of seeing the food is even more important than the physical experience of eating it. Experiencing a tea ceremony gives you a glimpse into a fascinating part of Japanese culture that has a lot of history and cultural significance. Scrolls are sometimes placed in the waiting room as well. It is a very important ritual that has a lot of meaning within the culture. Japanese historical documents about tea that differentiate between usucha and koicha first appear in the Tenmon era (1532–55). Seasonality and the changing of the seasons are considered important for enjoyment of tea and tea ceremony. Following a silent bow between host and guests, the guests proceed in order to a tsukubai (stone basin) where they ritually purify themselves by washing their hands and rinsing their mouths with water, and then continue along the roji to the tea house. A chakai may involve only the preparation and serving of thin tea (and accompanying confections), representing the more relaxed, finishing portion of a chaji. Some contain only a single character; in summer, 風 (kaze, lit. It is found in an entry in the Nihon Kōki having to do with the Buddhist monk Eichū (永忠), who had brought some tea back to Japan on his return from China. Tanaka, Seno, Tanaka, Sendo, Reischauer, Edwin O.  The custom of drinking tea, first for medicinal, and then largely for pleasurable reasons, was already widespread throughout China. Bows are exchanged between the host and the guest receiving the tea. However, it was increasingly at odds with the rustic and simple aesthetics continuously advertised by his tea master, which the regent increasingly saw as a threat to cementing his own power and position, and their once close relationship began to suffer. Written by Mark Cartwright, published on 30 May 2019 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. However, it was not until the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) that tea-drinking spread to the aristocracy, the only people who could afford such an expensive drink. Known in English as tea houses, such structures may contain several tea rooms of different sizes and styles, dressing and waiting rooms, and other amenities, and be surrounded by a tea garden called a roji. A chakai is a relatively simple course of hospitality that includes confections, thin tea, and perhaps a light meal. This style of sharing a bowl of koicha first appeared in historical documents in 1586, and is a method considered to have been invented by Sen no Rikyū.. The equipment for tea ceremony is called chadōgu (茶道具). His teachings perfected many newly developed forms in architecture and gardens, art, and the full development of the "way of tea". In medieval Japan, tea was usually prepared by pounding the leaves and making a ball with amazura (a sweetener from grapes) or ginger, which was then left to brew in hot water which had usually been boiled in an iron kettle over charcoal. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Web. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. Cartwright, Mark. The whole experience was meant to involve a spiritual element, a shared moment of calm and renewal for its participants. Related topics include incense and kimono, or comments on seasonal variations in equipment or offerings.  After the meal, there is a break called a nakadachi (中立ち) during which the guests return to the waiting shelter until summoned again by the host, who uses the break to sweep the tea room, take down the scroll and replace it with a flower arrangement, open the tea room's shutters, and make preparations for serving the tea.