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The Way of Tea

Discover the rich history of the Japanese tea gathering. Learn more about Chanoyu: The Japanese Art of Tea.. Created by Asian Art Museum.

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Video transcript

the way of T has a rich history that can be traced back more than 800 years Japan's close proximity to China and Korea gave it access to the many goods and ideas that traveled over land and sea one of the most valued imports one that transformed Japanese culture was t initially around the 12 hundreds T was prized for its health benefits the japanese zen priest Issei claim met t is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one's life more full and complete buddhist monks discovered that this powdered green tea drink was highly caffeinated and would help them stay alert during their long meditations in the 13 and 14 0 0 s T was primarily popular among the military and political elite tea was served as an exotic beverage as part of a more elaborate event ostentatious environments were created for the enjoyment of tea and showing off one's priceless art collection from China by the 1500s a succession of tea masters developed a new set of procedures and aesthetic vision similar to those practice today this became known as Chun oh you are hot water for tea in contrast to the opulent gatherings and refined Chinese utensils this new group of tea practitioners made it fashionable to use humble wares in unpretentious surroundings small groups would come together to share a simple meal and tea and appreciate poetry calligraphy and decorative arts in the company of like-minded people a host would plan weeks ahead the season and theme would inspire their choice of utensils flowers & paintings each gathering would be a unique unrepeatable experience never to occur again chano you the Japanese Way of tea gave rise to a variety of art forms Sen no Rikyu one of the founders of cha know you as we know it today is said to a proposed that tea practice was a matter of observing only seven rules make a satisfying bowl of tea lay the charcoal so that the water boils efficiently provide a sense of warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer arrange the flowers as though they were in the field be ready ahead of time be prepared in case it should rain act with the utmost consideration towards your guests some samurai warriors were students and practitioners of the way of tea Sen Rick you taught the way of tea to Hideo she one of Japan's most powerful warlords who was an ardent collector of tea utensils cha-no-yu is still popular today in many tea traditions some tracing their lineage back to Rick you these schools differ in certain gestures and favor different styles but generally they share many practices and common philosophies harmony with other people in one's environment respect for other people even if we disagree purity of heart and tranquility of mind and spirit artists throughout the world continued to produce t utensils inspired by Rick you in his philosophy it has been said that cha know you is an art form that engages all of the senses today people continue to discover the way of T which offers a window into traditional Japanese culture you