The Art of Japanese Tea Ceremony

History of Tea in Japan

tea_ceremonyA.D. 727: tea was an official gift from the Chinese tang court presented to emperor shame of japan.

Yr. 794:  tea was planted in the imperial garden in Kyoto (then heir)

Yr. 900: Japanese monks went to study buddhism in china and brought tea back with them

Yr.1191:  Eisai, a Japanese buddhist monk went to china. He returned with tea seeds and started planting tea in Japan. Eisai also wrote the first Japanese tea book, which later influenced the development of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Yr. 1400s: tea became a popular drink in Japan.

Yr. 1477:  the rules of etiquette for what is called chancy, or “hot-water tea”, was created by a buddhist priest named Murai Shuko. Shohun Toshimasa also created the first tearoom in his palace.

Yr. 1584: the first teahouse, a structure built for the purpose of serving and drinking tea, was developed by Sen-nil Rikyu.


The Japanese tea ceremony, or cha-no-yu, meaning “hot water for tea”, is more than an elaborate ritual.  It is an interlude in which one leads oneself for the moment to the spirit of beauty, quietude, and politeness toward others. The ceremony may be practiced anywhere, at home or in a teahouse.



There are 4 principles: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility (wa, kae, sae, jubuo)

Harmony: with other people and with nature. the tea ceremony is the way of bringing one’s self into harmony with nature.

Respects: a harmonious relationship with others.

Purity: clean yourselves through the five senses - sense of hearing when hearing the sound of water(which remind one of the silence outside), sense of sight when see the flowers, sense of touch when touch the utensils, sense of smell when smell the scent of the flowers, sense of taste when drinking tea.