DIFFERENT TYPES OF MATCHA, KOICHA AND USUCHA

It is thick tea, koicha, [濃茶] that is “tea proper”. Proper thick tea is mid-way between a liquid and a paste. It can only be blended [練(ね)る], using a bamboo whisk cut into tines that are fewer, and consequently thicker and stronger. Even for a single guest’s serving, the volume of powder required is such that, upon contact with that powder, the temperature of heated water immediately drops.

Continue Reading DIFFERENT TYPES OF MATCHA, KOICHA AND USUCHA

JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY SCHOOLS

Schools of Japanese tea ceremony are not institutions in the way we envision a contemporary school as a high school or university. There are teachers, but they are not bound by a curriculum. Nor do students gather at a schoolhouse where teachers teach classes on various aspects of the tradition.

Continue Reading JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY SCHOOLS

THE JAPANESE TEA HUT OR CHASHITSU

When we consider the space in which we commonly conduct a service of tea, we become aware of the wide variety of layouts and sizes that these chambers or chashitsu come in. Each tea practitioner that lived and contributed to the development of the rite of tea throughout history, constructed and employed tea hermitages or tea chambers that suited his/her personal aesthetic and functional preferences.

Continue Reading THE JAPANESE TEA HUT OR CHASHITSU

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY

The rite of tea enriches our lives in myriad ways. It teaches us proper social conducts. Aligns us with essential moral values. And aids us with finding spiritual calm and focus. The rite guides us to a realm where we learn the traits of a well mannered person, from which we learn things that help us tremendously in our everyday affairs.

Continue Reading WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY

KIREI SABI – THE JAPANESE AESTHETIC OF ELEGANT BEAUTY

Enshū's personal style and aesthetic preference inhabited all layers of the rite of tea, leaving a distinct mark on the history of the practice as a whole. His influence ranged from garden design and architecture, to the new creation of implements for use in the service of tea. Tea scoops, flower vases, tea bowls, etc. were affixed with motifs and forms of his choosing.

Continue Reading KIREI SABI – THE JAPANESE AESTHETIC OF ELEGANT BEAUTY

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF WABI SABI

Wabi-sabi is a term that is often used to allude to rustic simplicity and the art of imperfection in our lives. The term has its roots in the Japanese rite of tea, but is used today more often outside its original context. The notion itself has received a place in today’s society as a mode of thought that should help us to live life more mindfully and aware of the inherent (yet imperfect) beauty of the things surrounding us. Needless to say that such interpretations fail to grasp the original meaning of wabi-sabi. This article aims to clarify what wabi-sabi is and how it should be understood.

Continue Reading WHAT IS THE MEANING OF WABI SABI

ABOUT THE SHUKŌ TEA GATHERING IN NARA

Every year during the second week of February - and this year for the 5th year, the Juko Tea Gathering: Nara Tea Congress is held. The event extends over the span of one whole week, and is hosted throughout Nara city at a total of 8 different temples and shrines. I, together with my tutor Stephen Sōshun participate in this gathering every year.

Continue Reading ABOUT THE SHUKŌ TEA GATHERING IN NARA