The tea ceremony
Cult of tea
The cult of tea, commonly called the "tea ceremony" (in Japan), is an aesthetic pastime that consists of serve and drink green tea. Coming from Japan, the cult of tea has played an important role in the artistic life of the Japanese people for more than four hundred years, since it has its origin in the Middle Ages as a form of ethical aestheticism born under the influence of Zen Buddhism.
In fact, in the ideal of the tea ceremony can be glimpsed an image of the Japanese who finds the virtues of peace, harmony, courtesy and beauty in the simplest things in life.
The chanoyu or "tea ceremony" brings together the presence of religion, literature and philosophy, as well as art and crafts.
There are certain aspects about the main forms of the chanoyu ritual that a Westerner may not understand. For example:
- there is a difference between usucha (sparkling green tea) and koicha (thick, pasty tea);
- the etiquette that the host must observe when serving tea and what the guests must do at the ceremony;
- the spectacle of the tearooms and gardens;
- the various utensils used, etc.