Chanoyu – Japanese Tea Ceremony
Chanoyu – The Japanese Tea Ceremony is more complex, absorbing, and meditative than the Chinese Tea Ceremony [Gonfu Cha]. For instance, through tea, every human encounter is a single occasion and is not repeated. Nothing is permanent, and every aspect of the ceremony is to be savored. Seek beauty with your mind and your heart. Cherish each moment. Tea culture is “god-like” and is Teaism in Japan.
The ceremony happens in a designated room, with bamboo mats defining the area. Guests remove their shoes. Kim is wearing a simple creamy blue kimono. Up to four guests participate, and on Saturday, Michael is the honored guest. He enters the ceremony by crawling through an imaginary tunnel, signifying leaving any material items outside the tea ceremony. All are equal regardless of status or social position. No words are spoken.
Only the host touches the water, which is held in a stone jar. The Yin is represented by water and the heat of the fire, Yang. The container symbolizes purity. Guests are served a sweet while the host wipes the ceramic jar with a fine silk cloth or Fukusa. The Fukusa is carefully folded after each movement. In other words, a high level of concentration or state of meditation is required.
The host rinses the tea bowl and whisk. Pouring the water represents a waterfall. The tea, in this case, matcha, is scooped and whisked, then presented to the guest with a bow.
The teaware does not match. The tea bowl represents the moon (yin) and is cherished by the host. The water container is next to the tea bowl representing the sun (yang). After each guest drinks, the host wipes the bowl. The host does not drink any tea. The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a gift to the guest, a gesture of love or respect.
Next, see notes from the Korean Tea Ceremony soon.
The Tea Lady