Friday, February 12, 2010

My first Japanese Tea Ceremony

Yesterday. I saw a Japanese Tea Ceremony. It took place in a historic teahouse called Muan (picture 2). It was built in Edo period (about 130 years ago) by a wealthy silk merchant, and later moved to its present location in Happo-en garden. Muan is fashioned in a soan style (grass hut) with ceilings made of Japanese Cedar. I was the only guest and it was an informal Urasenke school tea ceremony. The tea master was skilful and her movements were more complex than what I’ve seen on videos (picture 1). The tea was usu-cha (thin tea) and it was good. They also gave me some sweets made of compressed icing sugar. The first cup was served in a Kiyomizu-yaki bowl (picture 3) and then it was followed by the second cup served in a Karatsu-yaki bowl (picture 4). When the tea master saw that I am interested in ceramics, she brought an Akaraku-yaki bowl to show me (picture 5).

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