Tea Ceremony

Tea House

gate
THE GATE
The host has sprinkled water around, the gate to inform the guests that preparations for the tea gathering have been completed and they are now invited to enter. Shown here is the famous Kabuto-mon (Helmet Gate) leading into the Urasenke complex in Kyoto
waiting
SHELTERED WAITING ARBOR
The guests move from the waiting room to the sheltered waiting arbor, where they sit on cushions that are provided for them. They stay here until the host comes and silently bows, bidding them to enter the teahouse.
entryway
THE ENTRYWAY
Here guests remove their thong sandals before stepping up into the hallway.
changing room
CHANGING ROOM
The guests remove their outer wraps in here and put on fresh, white tabi(Japanese split-toed socks). Everything but the articles that they will actually need for the tea gathering is left in the changing room.
waiting room
WAITING ROOM
The guests gather in the waiting room before proceeding to the sheltered waiting arbor. Here they view the decorations in the tokonoma and sip hot water.
garden
GARDEN
The garden consists of a moss-covered stone path surrounded by shrubbery and pine trees. The mood varies as the shifting light filters through the branches. The steppingstones have been dampened to create a cooling, refreshing atmosphere.
stone water basin
STONE WATER BASIN
Before entering the teahouse, the guests stop to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths at the stone water basin.
teahouse
TEAHOUSE
This teahouse has a thatched roof, and walls of mud and wattle. The small, sliding wooden door is the guest entrance. The size of the entrance necessitates that the guest crouch and enter on his hands and knees, an action symbolizing his humility. A pair of straw sandals rests against the wall.
tearoom
TEAROOM
It is here that the actual serving of tea takes1 place
tokonoma
TOKONOMA
The tokonoma of the tearoom, decorated with a hanging scroll and flowers.
preparation room
PREPARATION ROOM
The preparation room (mizuya) is next to the tearoom. Only the host and his assistants use this area. It is here that the various tea utensils are stored and the preparations for each stage of the tea gathering are done. Everything is organized for the greatest efficiency.
tea structures and garden
PLAN OF TEA STRUCTURES AND GARDEN
The diagram shows the plan for a typical tea garden and structures.
Tea Ceremony Tea Ceremony Tea Ceremony
Tea Ceremony Tea Ceremony

Tea Tools

Kama and Fuuro
Kama is Kettles or Iron pot.
Mostly made of iron.
Fuuro is furnace for boil water in kettle.
Made of Tang steel, iron or earthen.
Mizu-sashi
Mizu-sashi is water jar. It used to keep water cold.
Putting water for supplied to the "Kama" or wash to "Tya-wan".
It made of pottery, metal or lacquerware.
Natsume
Natsume is Tea Caddy (put in powdered green tea - "Usu-tya").
It mostly made of lacquerware.
"Natsume" is jujube, and it was named for resemble jujube nuts.
Cha-shaku
Cha-shaku is tea spoon.
Cha-shaku is used to scoop powdered tea from Natsume into Cha-wan.
It made of bamboo, lacquered wood or ivory.
Kensui
Kensui is discard the hot water or water washed Cha-wan.
Futa-oki
Futaoki used to put a lid of Kama or Hisyaku.
It made of bamboo, pottery, and hardware.
Hisyaku
Hishaku is a Ladle.
It is used to scoop cold water from the "Mizusasi" and hot water from the "Kama".
It is made of bamboo.
Cha-sen
Cha-sen is bamboo whisk.
This is used to stir tea in the Cha-wan.
It is made of bamboo, and it handmade one by one.
Cha-wan
Cha-wan is tea bowl.
It is one of the most important tools of the tea ceremony.
In winter, use deep Cha-wans in order to keep the tea warm.
And in summer, use shallow ones to create a cool atmosphere.

Thick Tea and Thin Tea

tea The distinctions between the two types of powdered tea used at a tea gathering begin with the color of the leaves from which the tea is made: those leaves that are vibrant bluish-green in color are ground for thin tea, while the dark purplish-green leaves are used for thick tea.
The difference in color is due to many factors: the amount of sunlight allowed on the plant, the type of fertilizer used, and the methods of handling the freshly picked leaves.
But generally speaking, the leaves from the upper portion of the tea plant are used to make thick tea, while those from the lower portion are used for thin tea.
In addition, there is a difference in the way that the leaves for each are prepared: after they have been picked, steamed, and dried, those that are used for thick tea are ground more finely than are those used for thin tea.
The two kinds of tea are also distinguished by the kind of tea container in which each is stored, the strength of the tea they make, and the manner in which the tea is served. Thick tea, usually the sweeter of the two, is considered to be the more formal. When it is to be served at a tea gathering, it is stored in a thick-tea container (cha-ire). When making thick tea, three scoopfuls (about 3.5 grams) of the powdered tea are used per guest. At a tea gathering, thick tea is served to all guests, one bowl being shared among them. The host must therefore prepare in that one bowl the exact amount of tea needed so that each guest can take about three-and-a-half sips before passing the bowl on to the next guest.
Thin tea is stored in a thin-tea container (usuchaki). The amount of tea used to make thin tea varies according to the taste of each guest, although one-and-a-half to two scoopfuls is usual. Each bowl of thin tea is individually prepared and served to each guest. Pictured below is a bowl of thin tea.

Container For Thick Tea

cha-ire Two kinds of tea are used at formal tea gatherings: koicha, or thick tea, and usucha, or thin tea. Thick tea is served at the most formal part of the tea gathering. The container for thick tea is called a cha-ire and is usually ceramic with an ivory lid.
The underside of the lid is lined with gold foil: tradition has it that the gold foil will turn color if there is any poison in the tea, a situation that many of Japan's great historical figures feared. The cha-ire is displayed in a small silk bag(shifuku) when it is not being used. Old cha-ire are called karamono, meaning that they either were made in China during the T’ang period (617-907) or are cha-ire similar in style to these, but made in Japan from clay and glaze brought from China by Kato Toshiro, who supposedly studied ceramics there around 1220. The cha-ire made from Japanese materials are called wamono. Those wamono made during the Muromachi period (1336-1568) in the Seto region are called Ko-seto. During the Momoyama (1568-1603) and Edo (1603-1868) periods, wamono were produced in the Karatsu, Takatori, Bizen, Satsuma, Tamba, Zcze, and Shigaraki regions. Shown at right are four different types of containers for thick tea.
Cha-ire
cha-ire cha-ire cha-ire
Usu-Cha-ki
Usu-Cha-ki Usu-Cha-ki Usu-Cha-ki

Tea Bowl

Tea bowls (chawan) for tea gatherings were originally imported to Japan from the Asian mainland. In the fifteenth century the famous Temmoku chawan were introduced from China, and later the Korean-made Ido chawan came to be widely used in Japan. In the latter part of the sixteenth century, many Korean ceramists came to Japan and settled in the Karatsu, Takatori, and Hagi regions, where they made pottery for tea gatherings. Sen Rikyu preferred tea bowls made by the ceramist Chojiro (1516-92); even today, his descendants produce tea bowls, known as Raku chawan, for gatherings. Tea bowls for thick tea arc usually un figured and heavier and more solid than those used for thin tea; Raku chawan and Ido chawan are the most popular kinds of bowls for thick tea.
chaki chaki chaki chaki chaki chaki chaki chaki

Wagashi - Japanese Sweers

The type of Japanese sweets (wagashi) served at a tea gathering is often chosen to correspond with or evoke the season of the year. If, for example, a light green confection called shitamoe (sprouts underneath) is served, the guest will feel that spring is drawing near, even though outside there may still be frost on the ground. If cherry blossoms are in bloom, the sweets may be shaped and colored like fallen cherry petals or fresh foliage, suggesting the end of spring and the greens of early summer.
wagashi
February - Umegoromo (plum robe)
In Japan, although trees may still be laden with snow, plum blossoms appear in February, holding the promise of spring. These sweets, decorated with a plum-blossom design, are made of rice dough with a filling of strained red-bean paste.
wagashi
March - Hitchigiri
Dainty shreds of colored bean paste arc placed on patties of dough made of rice mixed with mugwort. They resemble the shells used in a game played by young girls on March 3, the Doll Festival.
wagashi
April - Hanakurenai (pink flower)
These suggest spring, with the green of willows and the pink of cherry blossoms. They are made of delicately tinted white-bean paste.
wagashi
May - Karagoromo (Chinese robe)
May is the month of irises in Japan. For these sweets, white-bean paste has been wrapped in rice dough that has been partly tinted a faint purple.
wagashi
June - Mizumo no hana
Green-tinted bean paste wrapped in arrowroot dough and folded into a three-sided pyramid.
wagashi
July - Mizubotan
Pink-tinted bean paste wrapped in arrowroot dough mirrors the beauty of the botan (tree peony).

Hana-ire - Flower vase

ichirin
September
Rose of Sharon and arrowroot in an Agano-ware container hung from the ceiling of a tokonoma.
wagashi
October
Chrysanthemum and an autumn branch in a bamboo container hung from the ceiling of a tokonoma.
wagashi
November
Camellia and wild shrubbery in a bamboo container on a burnt-cedar board placed on the floor of a tokonoma.
wagashi
December
Camellia in a copper vase on a red-lacquered tray placed on the floor of a tokonoma.