May 262012
 

I.The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Chanoyu, Sado or Ocha in Japanese refers to the Japanese tea ceremony where green tea known as Matcha  is  served.  It is a ritual that is almost like a dance – with each step and gesture from the host totally focused on the guests who are called Shokyaku.  The ceremony is not about drinking tea itself but is all about artistic tea preparation and serving from the heart of the host in honor of his guests.  Even the placement of the utensils during the tea ceremony is done with complete regard for the guests.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

The tea is served with other Japanese sweets to contrast the bitter taste of the tea.

II.    History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

Serving of tea in China dates back to as early as the third century but it was in the 17th         century A.D. that tea seeds were brought to Japan where they were grown in Buddhist  temples and drank by monks for medicinal purposes. Green tea remained a rare and  expensive commodity in Japan for centuries. – Read more…

III.    Types of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

There are several kinds of tea ceremonies  held during the year depending on the time of the ceremony, theoccasion for holding the tea ceremony and the current season.
•    The Hatsugama 初釜,  meaning  “first kettle.” which happens in  January
•    This is a unique occasion being the  only time that a tea teacher would serve tea and food for  students. – Read more…

IV.    Preparing tea

The ritual of tea preparation is very simple; simplicity is one of the defining principles in preparing a bowl of green tea for guests. However, each step of the preparation involves standard movements, and utensils have to be placed at pre-determined locations on the Tatami mat. – Read more…

V.    Equipment used during a tea ceremony (temae)

Dōgu refers to equipment used during the tea ceremony. A wide range of dōgu is  considered necessary even during a very simple tea ceremony. – Read more…

VI.    Tea Ceremony Equipment for Guests

Kaishi paper is brought by all guests and sometimes by the Teishu (host) himself.  A stack of Kaishi paper is also placed at chest level in the over-lap of the Kimono. – Read more…

VII.    Rank of Tea Ceremony Utensils

Choosing which utensils are to be used during a particular tea ceremony would depend on various factors including the season it is to be held and occasion of the gathering  which was earlier explained in the topic of seasons of tea.   The manner these utensils are handled depends on the occasion and ranking of the utensils to be used. – Read more…

VIII.    Room Preparation for tea ceremony

The Chashitsu must be cleaned. Sweeping is done and wiping of the Tatami floor mats. The Roji garden and the stepping stone path leading from the Koshikake-Machiai to the Chashitsu is also cleaned and swept. – Read more…

IX.    Chashitsu Tea Rooms

Different sizes of rooms are named based on the number of Tatami mats inside the room or how they are laid out.  A Koma (small room) has four-and-a-half Tatami mats. – Read more…

X.    Etiquette for Guests

The standard number of guests for a small meeting is between 4-5. Shokyaku means guest of honor or the first guest while the the second guest is called a Jikyaku  and Kyaku are all other remaining guests. – Read more…

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