Japanese Tea Ceremony Essay

This essay has a total of 833 words and 6 pages.

Japanese Tea Ceremony




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.


Continues for 3 more pages >>




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