The Japanese tea ceremony was influenced by the Chinese tea culture during ancient and medieval times, starting in the 9th century when tea was first introduced t Those who only know tea ceremony through books or a brief visit to Japan usually miss out on some of the unseen angles that pertain to tea and its rituals. The protocol of a tea ceremony is defined down to exact hand movements which vary slightly between the different schools. Further, one should be silent when actually preparing the tea. Sign in and subscribe for the latest Japan travel news and updates. Today, the tea ceremony is practiced as a hobby, and there are places where tourists can experience it, as well. The sweetness of the beautifully-made, seasonal wagashi (和菓子: Japanese confections) offer a complimentary contrast to the bitter tea. The coronavirus outbreak is having a large impact on travel to and within Japan. A Japanese tea ceremony room typically has a tatami floor – a type of mat that is traditionally made from rice straw. Tea was introduced to Japan in the 8th century from China and was drunk as a medicinal beverage mainly amongst priests and the upper class. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Around the same time, a more refined version of tea parties developed with Zen-inspired simplicity and a greater emphasis on spirituality. The tea should be drunk in small sips. There should, too, be a painting (jiku) on a silk hanging scroll. Tea time will never look the same once you learn how to perform a Japanese tea ceremony at home. Stones of varying shapes and sizes make up the path that leads to the teahouse. One of Japan's spiritual disciplines which is not merely watched, but can also be easily appreciated and enjoyed through direct experience is chado (sado), or tea ceremony.. It is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered tea. When ready, the hot water is poured into the tea bowls but only enough to warm them. The diet of ancient Japan was heavily influenced by its geography... Buddhist monasteries have been part of the Japanese cultural landscape... Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan, The Japanese Tea Ceremony: Cha-no-Yu and the Zen Art of Mindfulness, The Book of Tea: Beauty, Simplicity and the Zen Aesthetic, The Japanese Way of Tea: From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. "Japanese Tea Ceremony." Cartwright, Mark. However, most tea ceremonies these days are much abbreviated events that are limited to the enjoyment of a bowl of thin tea. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. The tea ceremony is the ultimate in Japanese … You may see from the image below that there is a small wooden door to the bottom right hand side of the picture. The tea ceremony —or, directly translated, the "way of tea"—is in many ways a microcosm of the Japanese traditional sense of omotenashi, which translates as to look after guests wholeheartedly. Cite This Work But during the 16th century the ceremony became an art form called wabi cha. The father of the modern way of tea was Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591) who advocated an austere, rustic simplicity. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Among the affluent members of society, tea drinking parties became popular in which participants would show off their exquisite tea bowls and display their knowledge about tea. This is where, traditionally, guests would enter the tea room. This small garden or cha-niwa, typically has a stepping stone path (tobi-ishi) leading from the main house. The important thing is to only make the minimum of movements which should be precise, graceful, and restrained. The ceremony developed from Zen Buddhism, and … Ancient History Encyclopedia. "the way of tea" or ���̓�, chanoyu) is a Japanese tradition steeped in history. Up until the end of the Edo period (1603-1868 AD), women were not allowed to attend the ceremony. The essential utensils (chadogu) used in the tea ceremony are: Japanese Matcha Green Teaby Markus Kniebes (Public Domain). It is a ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea typically in a traditional tearoom with tatami floor. As Yukiko will explain, the Japanese tea ceremony (and this Online Escape) all comes down to one very important thing: ICHI-GO-ICHI-E. Even as a traveler, you will have opportunities to participate in a tea ceremony in Japan. Chadō or sadō ("the way of tea"; sometimes also called chanoyu, "hot water for tea", or ocha, literally just "tea") is the ritual of preparing and serving green tea. Tea ceremonies of varying degrees of formality and authenticity are offered by many organizations across Japan, including at some traditional gardens, culture centers and hotels. Japanese tea house, Chashitsu in Japanese, is where Chado, the tea ceremony takes place, which expresses Japanese sentimentality and aesthetics through the act of drinking tea. Having got everything right in terms of setting and paraphernalia as noted above, one then has to do what all this has been leading up to: make tea. Once guests have taken their positions, it is customary to bow once more before observing the decorations which were carefully selected for the occasion. The host may ask if guests would like another round of tea, and if not, the tea ceremony is over when the host washes the tea utensils and returns the equipment to where they were before starting. Decorative elements in the tearoom, include an alcove (tokonoma) where a scroll or seasonal flowers are displayed. The tea ceremony, literally translated as "way of tea" in Japanese, "etiquette for tea" or "tea rite" in Korean, and "art of tea" in Chinese, is a cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of tea. Flowers with gaudy colors or deep scents are avoided as they are a distraction. The exact movements of the host are vital but depend on which school of tea ceremony one favours. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know: Copyright © 1996-2020 japan-guide.com All Rights Reserved. The Japanese tea ceremony (����, sadō or chadō, lit. But the story of how it came to be is an epic tale spanning centuries, including political intrigue, murder and suicide along the way. We strive to keep Japan Guide up-to-date and accurate, and we're always looking for ways to improve. The garden is deliberately kept tranquil and simple to encourage a calm spirit. The Japanese Tea Ceremony (chanoyu or chado) is a cultural tradition involving very particular places, procedures, and equipment for drinking green tea. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Rulers and warlords used the tea ceremony itself for their own political encounters and bestowed upon favoured underlings gifts of priceless articles such as fine Chinese and Korean porcelain tea bowls. It is called the Way of Tea. Japanese Tea Ceremony: preparation of tea in summer and winter, steps in detail, from welcome greeting to final greeting : Preparing tea. Proportions and methods of preparation vary, though, as specialised tea schools were opened and each one had their own preferred approach which many still follow today. Not only fine porcelain but even antique collector’s pieces were and still are used for the vessel or chawan from which the tea is drunk. It was not until the Muromachi Period (1333-1573) that the beverage gained popularity among people of all social classes. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Tea ceremony, Japanese chadō or sadō (“way of tea”) or cha-no-yu (“hot-water tea”), time-honoured institution in Japan, rooted in the principles of Zen Buddhism and founded upon the reverence of the beautiful in the daily routine of life. He believed in the importance of peace, respect, purity and calmness. All of these decorative elements together should provide a harmonious and calming atmosphere. One might use fine lacquerware or a beautifully carved bamboo implement or a kettle of exquisitely worked metal - all of these details would be noticed by the guests. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. With a specifically designed room, landscaped garden, and fine porcelain all becoming essential components of the ceremony, drinking tea became nothing less than an art form. Finally, some of the finer implements may be returned in order for the guests to discuss their appreciation of them. Books A final touch might be an incense jar. It is from these gatherings that the tea ceremony has its origins. Drink the tea in a few sips and place it back onto the tatami. Chanoyu or sadō, chadō refers to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, a wonderful performance involving Japan's most intriguing tea: Matcha.Matcha is powdered green tea and usually very expensive if you seek the ceremonial grade quality. The most conventional understanding of it is as “a formal act or ritual; often set by custom or tradition; performed in observation of an event or anniversary”. One of the people who influenced this art was the great ‘tea master’ Sen no Rikyu. "the way of tea" or 茶の湯, chanoyu) is a Japanese tradition steeped in history. Japanese tea ceremony The tea ceremony is a cultural activity where matcha (green tea) is prepared, served, and consumed. ", Tea Master Sen no Rikyuby Hasegawa Tôhaku (Public Domain). With your right hand, turn it clockwise by around 90 degrees so that its front is not facing you anymore. The tea caddy and bamboo scoop are first cleaned with a cloth. The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. The ceremony was now firmly established in Japanese culture and came to epitomise four essential qualities of everyday life in Japan, as here summarised by the historian W. E. Deal: Detail, Ryoanji Zen Rock Gardenby Jean-Pierre Dalbéra (CC BY). Secondly, a ceremony is performed in The host invites the guests and serves them some sweets. In Japanese, the tea ceremony is called chanoyu, meaning 'hot water for tea', or chado or sado, meaning 'way of the tea’, tea being cha in Japanese. Also known as Chanoyu or Sado, the Japanese tea ceremony involves the serving and drinking of a powdered Japanese green tea known as Matcha in addition to Japanese sweets to reduce the b Tea ceremony in Japan used to be a 'men only' event. The tea was strong, green, and bitter, but a taste balance could be achieved by providing drinkers with small sweets. The first implication here is that the image of religious rituals, offerings, etc is strong. I realised that for most westerners, the word “ceremony” is rather deceiving. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Japanese_Tea_Ceremony/. The ceremony is traditionally held in a tatami room. Tea-drinking began in China, and its discovery is credited to the Indian sage Bodhidharma (aka Daruma), the founder of Zen Buddhism. History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The whole experience was meant to involve a spiritual element, a shared moment of calm and renewal for its participants. The Japanese tea ceremony is a popular ritual which is held in the country to mark the preparation and serving of Japanese green tea. The Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu), otherwise known as the ‘Way of Tea’ (Sado or Ocha) involves the preparation and serving of A tea ceremony is a ritualized form of making tea practiced in East Asia by the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. Each piece of equipment was carefully selected according to circumstance and has its specific place. A tea house was not large, perhaps only three square metres and almost completely empty. A great help in achieving the desired atmosphere of tranquillity is to provide the tea room with the correct sort of view. Japanese Tea Ceremony. Another desirable quality to foster is sabi, that is the faded beauty seen in much-loved and well-used objects which acquire a unique patina that only time can give. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. The ritual preparation of tea is very simple, simplicity is one of the basics for preparing a bowl of green tea for the guests. This is the tea room or chashitsu, also known as a sukiya or 'house of the imperfect', alluding to the structure’s original simple architecture and basic materials. The whole experience was meant to involve a spiritual element, a shared moment of calm & renewal for its participants. The tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony is linked to Buddhism and it dates back to the 9 th century when it was taken by the Buddhist monk on his return from China. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is a symbol of peace, harmony and happiness. Indeed, at least initially, secular tea parties were far removed from their tranquil beginnings at Buddhist monasteries and were often quite rowdy affairs where the game of guessing exactly what tea was being drunk was a popular element. It also provided a genteel setting for discrete conversation on sensitive subjects. It takes place in a room, sparsely decorated with tatami mats and a hanging scroll or flower arrangement, with up to five guests kneeling on cushions. In most cases, regular tourists are not expected to know the rules in detail, but a knowledge of the basic points below can help make the event a more dignified affair. The flooring consisted of tatami matting. Rikyu made the whole thing even more genteel, down-sized the tea room to make it more intimate, and added such now essential additional elements as perfectly arranged flowers. Cartwright, Mark. Related Content There might be a toilet in a separate room and light came from windows and through paper screens. The entrance for guests is sometimes kept low so that entering guests have to bend over, symbolizing humility. The Japanese tea ceremony developed over many years. When everyone has finished, the implements and bowls are cleaned and removed from sight leaving only the kettle before the hopefully now well-satisfied guests. Japanese Tea Ceremony Hishaku & Chawanby Penn State (CC BY-NC-ND). The Japanese tea ceremony is held in a traditional tatami room. The traditional tea ceremony venue is surrounded by a garden, although many modern venues lack a garden. In those times the tea was used as a medicine and only available to the rulers and noble families. One entered through a small door only 90 cm (3 ft) in height which necessitated bending down and so signified all who entered were equal as far as the tea ceremony was concerned. Bow and express gratitude after receiving and finishing your tea. Tea-drinking began in China, and its discovery is credited to the Indian sage Bodhidharma (aka Daruma), the founder of Zen Buddhism. Beyond just serving and receiving tea, one of the main purposes of the tea ceremony is for the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from … According to 8th century Zen Buddhist Eisai, matcha is the ultimate mental and medical remedy which has the ability to make ones life more full and complete. A full, formal tea ceremony is a multi-hour event that starts with a kaiseki course meal, is followed by a bowl of thick tea and ends with a bowl of thin tea. Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies use matcha (stone-ground powdered green tea). Again, the choice of a suitable subject would reflect on the connoisseurship of the tea host with landscapes being favoured or a fine example of calligraphy. Written by Mark Cartwright, published on 30 May 2019 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The Japanese Tea Ceremony. Then, they are asked to sit and wait until the tea is made. Towards the end of the ceremony, there will be time to inspect and appreciate the tea bowl by lifting it. The Japanese tea ceremony (called cha-no-yu, chado, or sado) is a special way of making green tea (matcha 抹茶). The flowers or grasses are selected according to the season and are placed in a vase (hanaire) made from bronze, copper, porcelain or bamboo. 26 Dec 2020. These rustic buildings with roofs made of bamboo or thatch with unworked wooden columns and earth walls were separate from the main residence; one reason why the whole ceremony became the exclusive pastime of the aristocracy because only they could afford such a place. The garden and the tea room may have been difficult to acquire and maintain but simply getting together all the correct implements needed for tea-drinking was no easy feat either, then or now. The Japanese Tea Ceremony may seem a bit too complex to understand with so many existing types, tools and specific vocabulary, but in fact the tea ceremony involves the practical and aesthetical matcha preparation and the attempt to connect with the guests, and sometimes with nature at a high spiritual level. Guests ideally sit in a seiza position on the tatami floor. A stone lantern is placed close to a stone basin near the entrance where visitors wash their hands before entering the tearoom. By the 17th century CE, the tea ceremony had become so popular that everyone was getting involved, not just the upper classes. By having a dedicated room, the tea-drinkers could more easily detach themselves from their everyday cares. Although the Japanese word for the tea ceremony, chanoyu, literally means “hot water for tea,” the practice involves much more than its name implies.Chanoyu is a ritualized, secular practice in which tea is consumed in a specialized space with codified procedures. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Until the late 1800s only rich nobles suc Most of today's schools of tea ceremony, including Omotesenke and Urasenke, developed from his teachings. Last modified May 30, 2019. Like most things that you will encounter in Japan, there is a firmly established routine and etiquette to follow for both the host making the tea, and the guests drinking the tea. The main equipment includes the tea whisk (chasen), tea container for the powdered green tea (natsume), tea scoop (chashaku), tea bowl, sweets container or plate, and the kettle and brazier. Once finished, turn the bowl so that the front now faces the host. An alternative type is the Zen rock garden which is a hyper-minimalist dry landscape garden (karesansui) consisting only of immaculately raked sand or gravel and a few choice stones. Finally, a third type of garden was designed not for looking at but for calming the guests on their way to the medieval tea house (or the modern equivalent for those with the outdoor space). Ancient History Encyclopedia, 30 May 2019. A Japanese sweet is served before tea and is supposed to be eaten before the tea is drunk. One of the most influential figures on the evolution of the tea ceremony was the 16th-century CE monk and tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591 CE). The Japanese Tea Ceremony (called Sadō or chadō or the Way of Tea) is tied to Zen Buddhism and is a method for putting worries and concerns aside to enjoy the moment. And, yes, It is the ceremonial presentation of a powdered green tea called matcha. Japanese Tea Ceremony. In the tea ceremony, tea sweets are enjoyed before each serving of tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements. Powdered tea is then added to the bowls, which are then topped up with hot water, and the mixture is whisked to make a frothy drink. Originally tea came from China, but the Japanese turned it into a meditative performance art. Objects should be beautiful but also simple and thereby exhibit the important Japanese aesthetic principle of wabi. After a bow, the head guest enters the room and takes the seat closest to the alcove, followed by the other guests. Japan's Traditional Tea Ceremony. Beyond just serving and receiving tea, one of the main purposes of the tea ceremony is for the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from the fast pace of everyday life. From China, the habit spread along with other ideas via traders, diplomats, and visiting monks so that eventually it reached Japan in the 8th century CE, evolving into a whole cultural experience from the 13th century CE onwards. 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. For one thing, even among the Japanese themselves, tea ceremony is considered a hard-to-understand, esoteric practice that takes years to appreciate. The green tea used today is matcha and is of the highest quality. The leaves are typically dried, ground into a very fine powder and then sprinkled and whisked into the hot water. The trend was set which would last until today - the tea ceremony had become the ultimate setting for discretely displaying one’s knowledge of the intricacies of the procedures involved and a moment to demonstrate one’s connoisseurship of porcelain and other decorative objects involved in the ceremony. Japanese Whisk & Tea Bowlby George Moga (CC BY-NC-SA). As the old Japanese saying goes, cha-Zen ichimi or "Zen and tea have the same flavour. Japanese Tea Roomby Angelina Earley (CC BY-NC-ND). It's best to buy it directly from Japan or from a specialised shop to avoid cheap powdered tea from China. Avoid gaudy fashion and fragrance that distracts from the tea experience. From the 2nd century BCE, Buddhist monks began to drink tea to help support themselves while they meditated and to ward off sleep. The interior of the medieval minimalist tea room/house would be copied in private homes right down to today. Over the years, Japanese people turned this simple tea drinking activity in. This all changed when the 15th-century CE shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (r. 1449-1473 CE) made the whole thing a much more sober and subdued event. There is an alcove in front of the tea room which is decorated with scrolls and various types of flowers. Long regarded as one of the cornerstones of Japanese culture, the chadō, or tea ceremony is a quintessential expression of aestheticism and philosophy in perfect harmony. 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