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My thoughts: Japanese tea ceremony A&s project (lots of facts included)

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  • art_fetish
    Let me say this about the concept of Japanese Tea Ceremony as an A&S entry: Japanese Tea Ceremony as known today is Edo period to modern. Tea in the Momoyama
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 21, 2011
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      Let me say this about the concept of "Japanese Tea Ceremony" as an A&S entry:

      Japanese Tea Ceremony as known today is Edo period to modern. Tea in the Momoyama period was starting to formalize into ritual and ceremony but still was very much a social tool, and even used in games. I don't think we actually have any solid records of the exact practices of many tea ceremonies until around Momoyama.

      Let me break down in VERY SIMPLE terms the evolution of tea in Japanese history per period. I will be missing many fine points, and do have a wealth of more info on the different periods, its just that I am trying to keep this as a helpful summary:

      *PreNara & Nara: Tea began in China among Zen monks who would later travel to Japan. It was used as a method to prevent sleep during long meditation. It then became known as 'Cha King' or 'Tea Gospel of Luh Wuh'. In the early days in China tea was used to entertain instead of liquor.
      *Heian: Rare medical tool that only the elite had access to. Shomu Tenno (724-749) was the first to offer tea in a ceremonial style to an estimated 100 priests. Powdered tea was present and used. Tea is mentioned in a variety of poems at this time.
      *Kamakura: Still regarded as a medical tool, a 2 volume book is published called 'How to stay healthy by drinking tea'. Tea is still a drink that only the super wealthy can afford, not found among the common people. There is mention of brick teas in this period. Around this time Japan is producing and growing its own tea. The most famous/finest of teas grown in Japan during this time of 'Tea of Uji'. It is said that the first tea plant seeds were planted in the hoof prints of horses, which is why so many tea gardens have horse themes for names. Also around this time is when wild tea trees were discovered in Japan. Some sources state that it is in the Kamakura that tea arrived in Japan, but there is no clear understanding on this - perhaps it was a particular new tea cults arrival from China that is being mistaken as the found of tea?
      *Momoyama: In Momoyama Japan men were required to be cultured in Tea to be respected and even gain access to the higher ranks of society. The famous warlord Hideyoshi held tea gatherings after a victory. Nobunaga was known to confiscate the tea of those he defeated and then give the tea to his generals and soldiers as a reward. It is almost impossible to actually understand the Momoyama period without understanding the importance and place of tea within the culture. Tea was very much a part of warrior society at this point and was pretty wide spread through much of Japanese culture.

      There's an anecdote regarding Hideyoshi (Momoyama Graet General) & his Master of Tea Ceremonies, Mitsunari Ishida:
      After being made the lord of Nagahama, he decided one day to practice falconry -sometimes said as hunting- in his territory. On the way back, his throat was parched so he stopped at a temple to ask for tea. A page of the temple obliged and brought in a large tea bowl filled with plenty of cold tea. Hideyoshi drank all of it and asked for another. The page returned with a second, smaller tea cup that with slightly warmer tea. Again, Hideyoshi polished it off and demanded for a refill. This time the page returned with piping hot, freshly brewed tea within the smallest of tea cups. The page considered his guest's throat and therefore served cold tea to quench Hideyoshi's thirst. With a gradually hydrated throat, Hideyoshi could then fully savor the qualities of a hot cup of tea. It means to wisely pay attention to the condition of one's surroundings and judge accordingly. Enjoying the page's timed courtesy, Hideyoshi decided to enlist him into his service. The page later became established as Mitsunari.


      I am looking at a chart of Genealogy of the great tea masters of the respected house of Ura Senge. Total there are 24 schools of tea that are formally acknowledged today, though there exists a few more. Looking back at their founding dates we can get a feel for when Japanese Tea Ceremony as we know it began.

      ----
      Name of the Man / Date of Death / School of Tea Ceremony
      ----
      Rikyu / Feb 28, 1591/ Ura Senge

      Let's take a look at the different schools and their founding dates:
      *Anrakuan-ryū 安楽庵流 (founder: Anrakuan Sakuden [1554-1642])
      *Chinshin-ryū 鎮信流 (founder: Matsura Chinshin {1622-1703
      *Hayami-ryū 速水流 (founder: Hayami Sōtatsu [1727-1809]
      *Yōken-ryū 庸軒流 (founder: Fujimura Yōken [1613-1733]

      More schools listed at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schools_of_Japanese_tea_ceremony - I copy and pasted the schools listed above because it included the Japanese characters, which I am unable to produce.


      Looking at everything we have here, we can see most tea ceremony as we know is founded in Edo - post period for us and thus not a suiting A&S submission. If you are interested in tea culture, perhaps a tea tasting party or drinking games would be better suited?

      -Lady Kimiko


      --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Jenn Prado <kaegwyn@...> wrote:
      >
      > I too appreciate all of this information beings provided.
      >
      > This subject of a tea ceremony has me wondering:
      >
      > As an A&S entry, would the performance of an actual tea ceremony be considered a bardic entry?
      >
      > My reasoning for thinking it a bardic entry is that juggling, magic, song, story telling, theater, and dance.
      >
      > So the observance of any period ceremony might also be bardic because bardic covers theater and dance which could be described as: acting in a prescribed manner. And a ceremony is a set of specific physical steps just like a dance.
      >
      >
      > Questions, comments, & thoughts appreciated on this one.
      >
      > Ylaire
      >
      >
      > Sent from my iPhone
      >
      > On Sep 20, 2011, at 10:49, mazelle attiya <attiyam@...> wrote:
      >
      > > Greetings Lady Kimiko,
      > >
      > > I just wanted to say 'Thank you' for taking the time to post the information on the books you are viewing.
      > >
      > > Alysia
      > >
      > > From: art_fetish <art_fetish@...>
      > > >To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
      > > >Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:18 AM
      > > >Subject: [SCA-JML] Book Review: Masterpieces of Tea Utensils of Seikado Collection
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >Title: Masterpieces of Tea Utensils from the Seikado Collection
      > > >Year Published: 2004
      > > >ISBN: None that I found
      > > >Language: Japanese, with some English notes and subtitles
      > > >Pages: 244
      > > >Periods: Roughly 1300ad â€" 1800ad , lots of focus around the 16th century.
      > > >
      > > >Subjects: A photo catalog of historical items used in tea ceremony
      > > >
      > > >My thoughts: If you want to recreate a period tea ceremony set this book is a must. There are black and white, and color photos of many outstanding examples from a wide variety of time periods. There are some really pretty color photos of outstanding examples of the arts related to tea ceremony.
      > > >
      > > >http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/4572/img3578600x800.jpg (cover)
      > > >http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/5499/img3574600x800.jpg
      > > >http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/9888/img3575600x800.jpg
      > > >http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/1328/img3576600x800.jpg
      > > >http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/7741/img3577600x800.jpg
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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