No-yu or Tea Ceremony is one of the most popular aesthetic arts of Japan. It aims to cultivate a state of mental peace and spiritual harmony through a series of procedures concerning the preparation of tea.
Story of Tea
Tea is a drink, which originated in southern China about 500 years before Christ. Regarding its origin is a legend about the monk, Bodhi Dharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism is said to have a Bodhi-Dharma, because after years of sleeping continuous meditation, cut the eyelids of their eyes, then hurls on the floor. And where the eyelids fell, the legend says, came the flat for tea, using the leaves of this plant, the disciples of the monk, developed a drink that allowed them to combat fatigue and sleep during long meditations.
Given this link with Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, the tea was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks for over 1200 years. Centuries were to pass, however, before the tea is rooted in the soil and the Japanese culture so as to give rise to the flourishing of the tea ceremony.
Bases of No-yu were grounded in XV and XVI of three outstanding teachers Tea (Shoko Murata, Takeno Jo-o, and especially-no-Rikyu Sen) who gave the ceremony in his classic taste of Zen, in fact, thanks to the influence of Zen Buddhism, the Cha-no-yu was transformed from a simple social pastime to an art aesthetic that exerted great influence on other areas of Japanese culture as in Ikebana, pottery, gardens and architecture of Japanese homes.
The Sukiya is a small hut, which consists of two quarters Nlizuya and called Chasitsu. Mizuo is the room where the washing and preparing the utensils that are used at the ceremony. The Chasitsu is the place where the tea ceremony itself is. This quarter is quite small, about 2.7 meters square, but large enough to accommodate 5 people (considered as the ideal number of guests). The fourth Chasitsu is also devoid of decorations, with the exception of Ikebana (flower arrangement) and that kakemonos placed in tokonoma and which must be covered by the guests when entering the room. Chasitsu the entrance to the square shape and is built at low altitude above the ground, with each guest, so after off, necessarily has to crouch as an act of humility.
The tokonoma mentioned above, is described as a niche or, better yet, like a shelf of wood affixed to the wall and free from shelves. Besides Chasitsu, the tokonoma is also used in the main room or Zashiki of the Japanese house, the site is tokonoma honor of the Japanese home. The kakemonos is a stretched canvas, with oriental paintings or poems, that hangs in the tokonoma.
Preparation of Tea
When the guests are seated in their appropriate places, the host enters in silence and takes his place in front of the brazier. After Japanese pastries to offer their guests, the host begins preparing the tea. To this end, misses a bowl in the right amount of tea powder with a teaspoon of bamboo and then adds the necessary amount of hot water. Then, with a special bamboo beater, stirs the drink until it forms a foam. Once the tea ready, the host offers to to first chief guest who accepts it with a reverence.
When all the guests have tea, the chief guest asks permission to examine the teaspoon Bamboo and small pot containing the tea powder. In the end, the host collects the utensils, and a reverence for the guest leaves the room saying this to the tea ceremony.
This ceremony procedures are numerous and diverse as it is an art which many schools have flourished. With this in mind, the above description is only a brief outline of the tea ceremony.
Before closing, the Cha-no-yu are four basic rules that must be borne in mind:
1. Harmony among the participants and utensils.
2. Respect or reverence among the guests and with respect to the utensils.
3. Cleaning. Everything has to be spotlessly clean. Guests must wash their hands and rinse their mouths before entering the ceremony room.
4. Environmental and peace of mind.
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