• First lords of Japan were warriors
  • Were trained in the art of fighting
  • The dual way of life
  • Art and Fight was the dual way
  • Influenced by Zen Bhuddism in 1400 century
  • Trained in Calligraphy, Noh theater, and poetry
Tea Ceremony 
cha no yu
  • Tea is a form of art
  • Every thing has a meaning
  • Not a sound is unintentional
  • Tea given in the honor of the guest
  • Extreme measures would be taken to please the guest
  • The room would be well decorated
  • A poem on the scroll
  • Flower arrangements
  • Utensils are carefully chosen and some are made from fine porcelain
  • Life is a fleeting moment -every moment should be lived as though last
  • Tea ceremony represents harmony and purity

Ikkyu, Calligraphy Pair, from Daitoku-ji, Muromachi period, c. mid 15th century. ink on paper. Japanese. 


Ritsurin Koen, Japan

The ceremony takes place in a room designed and designated for tea. It is called the chashitsu. Usually this room is within the tea house, located away from the residence, in the garden.

Just before receiving the guests, the teishu fills the tsukubai (Crouching Water-basin), which is set among low stones with fresh water. Taking a ladle of water the teishu purifies his hands and mouth then proceeds through the chumon (middle gate) to welcome his guests with a bow. 

No words are spoken. The teishu leads the hanto, the main guest and the others (in that order) through the chumon which symbolizes door between the coarse physical world and the spiritual world of tea.

The guests and hanto purify themselves at the tsukubai and enter the teahouse. The sliding door is only thirty six inches high. Thus all who enter must bow their heads and crouch. This door points to the reality that all are equal in tea, irrespective of status or social position. The last person in latches the door.


Hanging in the alcove is a kakemono (scroll painting), carefully selected by the host, which reveals the theme of the ceremony. 

Inside the Teahouse
The room is devoid of any decoration except for an alcove called a tokonoma



Sen no Rikyu, Tai-an tearoom, Myoki-an Temple, Momoyama period, 1582. architecture. Japanese. 

The Buddhist scripture on the scroll is by a master and is called bokuseki (ink traces). Each guest admires the scroll in turn, then examines the kama (kettle) and hearth (furo for the portable type and ro for the type set into the floor in winter to provide warmth), which were laid just before they were greeted by the host. They then are seated according to their respective positions in the ceremony.



mizusashi (Water Jar for Tea Ceremony)
Early Edo period 17th C
The Spiritual World of Tea
In tea ceremony, water represents yin and fire in the hearth yang. The water is held in a jar called the mizusashi. This stoneware jar contains fresh water symbolizing purity, and is touched only by the host.


Tea Containers 
from Momoyama period ca 16th C
Tea caddy (chaire) with silk sack (shifuku).

Matcha is kept in a small ceramic container called a chaire which is in turn covered in a shifuku (fine silk pouch) which is set in front of the mizusashi. 

The occasion will dictate the type of tana (stand) used to display the chosen utensils.


Tea Bowl  Stoneware with underglaze iron decoration
Edo Period 17th C

The host enters with the chawan (tea bowl) which holds the chasen (tea whisk), chakin (the tea cloth) which is a bleached white linen cloth used to dry the bowl, and the chashaku (tea scoop), a slender bamboo scoop used to dispense the matcha, which rests across it. 

These are arranged next to the water jar which represents the sun (symbolic of yang); the bowl is the moon (yin). Retiring to the preparation room, the host returns with the kensui (waste water bowl), the hishaku (bamboo water ladle) and futaoki (a green bamboo rest for the kettle lid). He then closes the door to the preparation room.