An Overview of a Japanese Tea House
and Its Significance
It doesn't matter whether it's green tea, genmaicha, or matcha; the Japanese people always take their tea seriously. For many individuals in Japan, tea is more than just a drink; it has carried a major cultural significance. Drinking tea is a custom that all Japanese family members follow. Sitting together, spending quality time with your close ones, and consuming tea also come under their primary cultural custom.
If any individual is in the Land of the Rising Sun or Japan and their Journey trip designer has secured a reservation for you at a classic tea house known as ochaya, then here is some vital information they need to know before they go. In Japan, the tea ceremony or tea house is an essential ritual for them, and it has a lot of meaning within this culture.
What is meant by Tea House?
In Japan, there are a lot of houses with a traditional Japanese tea room, which is also known or popular as the name of chashitsu. Back in the 9th century or early days in this country, there takes place a sacred ritual dating.
There is an old culture where the Japanese people in their tea ceremony, the masters prepare and serve this tea following a strict protocol learned at a tea school. Serving Japanese tea needs a lot of practice, and it is also referred to as the way of ancient tea making. It's quite a vital skill to be acquired by every Japanese.
The design of the tea room is familiar with sukiyaki. They are commonly made of timber and concealed with mats of tatami where attendees sit during the rituals. There is also a corner in the room known as a Tokonoma. Which is the most crucial space where there is a scroll of calligraphy hung and a vase full of flowers.
These days the chashitsu’s are often booked for travellers to visit, learners of a tea school, and reason for the devoted monks inside a monastery. A tea room is frequently a modern cafeteria or smaller coffee shop. Offering serious cups of lattes or matcha with sweet animal structures made of foam.
When Did Tea House Start?
The ritual started thousands of years ago in the hands of a person named Eichu, who is a Buddhist monk. After a visit to the Chinese region, he came up with a tea made for the emperor Saga when he went to Karasaki in 815. Tea was then critically drunk in the Chinese area for 1000 years, generally for medicinal purposes.
Another Buddhist monk during the twelfth century came back with matcha from his visit to the Chinese region as well as a new method of making it. From then on, the rituals around tea became frequent for Buddhist monks throughout the Japanese region.
When Warriors and samurais ruled Japanese land 100 years later, tea was reflected as a power statement. One of the leading experts of Japan in the sixteenth century was Saki no ri kyu. He came up with a printed edition about tea and the theory his teachers taught when he was in a ceremony, which was purity, respect, tranquillity, and harmony. Three primary institutes of tea were set up after the death of Saki no ri kyu, which involved the Mushakojisenke School, the Urasenke School, and the Omotesenke School.
These traditional practices and traditions carry on in the Japanese region with a relaxed ceremony and an official ceremony, contrasting length and protocol. They are a well-known aspect of Japanese culture. A Tea house is something the Japanese value significantly.
The architecture of Tea House
The most ancient tea houses of Japan were built by wealthy merchants, monks, and samurai, with the influence of Zen philosophy. They were created to be soothing and united with nature utilizing natural components such as wood. In front of some tea rooms, there are also Japanese Zen gardens.
When guests step into a traditional tea house, they have to crawl in via a smaller door made of wood—making everybody at the ceremony comparable regardless of their title and wealth. This also indicates that samurais had to leave their swords and other weapons outside. This rule was there to be the same level as everybody else.
These days there are more creative and modern takes on the tea house in Japan. This involves the Umbrella style Japanese Tea House made of fabric from 1 figment of bamboo, which appears like a tent. There is also a famous Tea House made out of glass in the temple of Shorten-in, which is entirely see-through.
To sum it up
International visitors are not anticipated to realize the details and nuances of a traditional tea ritual and the broader culture around tea. So the vast majority of the masters will describe them during the entire ceremony. Some primary rituals that carry throughout the culture of Japan involve taking off one's shoes before stepping into a tea house. And washing and cleaning the hands right before the rituals begin. It is in line with the aspect of purification of the Shinto religion and their tea ceremonies.
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