Japanese tea is famous all over the world. Even the word “macha” – a type of Japanese tea, has become known in various languages. Instead of talking about the different types of tea in Japan, I would like to give you a brief historical introduction to the Japanese tea ceremony.
Tea was imported from China in the 13th century, and was reserved for only monks and samurai before becoming a popular drink from the 16th century. The tea ceremony was created by “Sen No Rikyu” in the same period.
It required careful preparation and is based on 4 beliefs: “purity”,“quietness”, “respect” and “harmony”.
和敬清寂 wakeiseijaku – The tea ceremony – is not something that can be conducted by just anyone. The ceremony is led by a master who has been taught by another master of other arts (calligraphy, ikebana, kimono, etc..) who has studied it all his life. Until the end of the 19th century, it was reserved for only men and the reason is pretty simple. At that time, the tea ceremony was considered a safe place for samurai: they could avoid battles, exchange thoughts, and talk casually. Things changed in the Meiji era, when the samurai era ended. From then on, women continue to withhold this tradition, and many women still practice the tea ceremony today