Harmony, reverence, purity and calm. These are the four elements that represent the incarnation of the Tea Ceremony in Japan. Nature and art blend harmoniously in the tea room and its peaceful garden. The principle of refined simplicity taught by the ancient masters is strictly observed. Whatever one's rank in life, rich or poor, noble or commoner, the tea room equals us all. The kings and their subjects touch their knees, and for that short space of time, in the tea room, they are all one.
Hailing 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, an image of the Japanese can be glimpsed in the ideal of the tea ceremony, 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 of 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 (pasty and dense tea); the etiquette that the host should observe when serving tea and what the guests to the ceremony should do; the show of the tea rooms and gardens; the different utensils used, etc. The list of Japanese words associated with chanoyu is long and exhaustive and we will not bore you by showing it.
Suffice it to say that being present at a tea ceremony as a guest is quite an honor.