Cha-No-Yu translated means, “Hot water for tea” it is a simple description of tea preparation, but the Japanese tea ceremony adds greater significance in the act of sharing a cup with guests.
The Japanese Tea Ceremony is steeped in tradition founded in the early 1500’s. The contemporary style known best today is accredited to Tea Master, Sen-No-Rikyu. His style contributed to five elemental behaviors that make the ceremonial experience a lesson in Japanese culture and honor.
According to Zen Stories of the Samurai, these five contributions include: “A tea house that can accommodate five people. A separate small room where utensils were washed, two entrances, one for the host one for the guest, a doorway low enough to make the guest bend down to enter, humbling themselves in preparation for the tea ceremony.”
Sen-No-Rikyu brought a dramatic quality to the ceremony that exemplified harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. He died the death of honor performing seppuku after the request to do so was brought forth from Japan’s militant dictator, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
A Tea Ceremony takes approximately four hours and consists of three parts: a light formal meal, followed by the preparation of two different tea styles, a thin and thick tea.
It begins with the guests entering the Tearoom from the garden with the honored guest entering first. It is customary for the guests to admire the scroll and flower arrangement, both of which have seasonal aesthetics attributed to them. The hibachi (heating element) and kettle are …