In Japan tea drinking is a special custom. The tea ceremony of a japan calls forth for family get together and reunions over a bowl of tea. It is during this time that family members engage in pleasant conversation and talk about art and culture, antique stories and histories that instigated the tea ceremony! But the most interesting part of this Japanese tea culture is that hosts provide their guests only with green tea – the matcha!
The chanoyu or the Japanese tea ceremony is a simple affair, nothing like the tea parties of England or elsewhere. It is absolutely free of illustrative projections and the idea of luxury associated with drinking tea. Rather the Japanese tea drinking culture exhibits much of eastern philanthropy and provides for a spiritual, an aesthetic experience.
All Japanese tea ceremonies are held at beautiful and ancient Tea houses or in open gardens, spaces which have abundant of natural energy and organic elements. Most Japanese people prefer to have it in the open at a decorated garden. Apart from tea drinking the ceremony also promotes Japanese trade as in carpentry, carpet weaving, wooden handcrafts and many more.
The objective to host chanoyu in beautiful spaces is because the Japanese people believe that the setting of a place adds charm to an activity making it memorable event. And what better memories to be created other than with family and friends!
Some of the basic features of Japanese tea drinking ceremony is that it is moderated by a single host, who prior to the occasion selects the decorative items to be displayed in the room. It might sound funny about the selection of decorative items, but to Japanese people this is one important aspect as the host’s sole objective is to create the best atmosphere which will make the guests feel comfortable and happy. In japan they have a phrase for the perfect ambiance – wa-kei-sei-jaku which when translated to English stands for “Harmony, Reverence, Purity and Tranquility.”
As against the preparation the guests will also need to do their best for the success of the ceremony. In another term the guests will try their best to contribute to the philosophy of Ichigo-Ichi-e meaning “we can only enjoy the present moment. So let’s try our best.”
The Japanese tea drinking ceremony therefore is more than a get together of family and friends. It is a cultural practice, a ritual that has many wonderful connotations like spreading love, forgiving people and uniting against personal differences.