Japanese Tea Ceremony

Tea wasfirst 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 siton the waiting bench, and wait for the host.


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