Continued from Chanoyu: Tea and Ritual – Part 1
Some Japanese Tea Ceremony Trivia Facts
- Chanoyu is literally translated “hot water for tea”.
- Only green tea matcha is used during a tea ceremony.
- The tradition of drinking matcha first began with temple monks to keep them awake during long evening meditation.
- Green tea was originally medicine. Japanese green tea experts still call it a tea “dose”.
- The traditional Japanese tea ceremony has existed for over 400 years.
- Originally, a tea ceremony was practiced only by men.
- Today, a tea ceremony is practiced mostly by women.
- The Chanoyu tea ceremony’s guiding principles were perfected during the Sengoku Period, an especially violent era in Japanese history.
- A tea ceremony can last upwards of four hours.
- Longer tea ceremonies involve a multi-course meal (kaiseki).
- Mystery surrounds why the 3rd Japanese regent, Toyotomi Hideyoshi compelled Sen no Rikyu to commit hara-kiri (seppuku) on April 21, 1591.
- 4 things should be taken to a tea ceremony:
- a kaishi (papers to place your sweets);
- a youji (small knife to cut your sweets);
- a kobukusa (cloth to hold your tea bowl); and
- a sensu (fan); a fan oftentimes scented with oils to permeate the air
A tea ceremony can happen at any time of the year. Whether it is a celebration of usucha or koicha depends on the seasonal period or time of day it is held. If the intent is to honor a specific occasion, then it can embody a combination of forms for the event. Regardless of the celebration, the Chanoyu’s principles guide the tea ceremony.
A tea ceremony encourages the participants to rise above the ordinary and uncover the hidden meaning within objects, art, spirit, fellowship, and nature. It embodies peace and harmony between participants. Don’t you wish our world leaders could aspire to sit down and share the principles of a tea ceremony?
Photo “Tea For One” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Stephanie Carter and is being posted unaltered (source)