Tea Ceremony (茶道)Chanoyu (‘hot-water tea’), Chado, or Sadô (‘way of tea’)
The tea ceremony has a very long history within the traditional Japanese culture. Its roots reach the development of Higashiyama Culture (the 1400s), which in turn was strongly connected with the Zen Buddhist concept of wabi-sabi (“beauty in simplicity”). The tradition of drinking tea was brought to Japan by Chinese author Lu Yu. The tea ceremony was later formalized and perfected by the famous Japanese tea master – Sen No Rikyu (also known as Sen Soeki), who succeeded transforming the tea ceremony into national art-form. It is worth mentioning that in the beginning, the tea ceremony could be performed only by men, while nowadays it is also performed by women.
We should remember that even today, the study and mastery of the tea ceremony can take years to complete, while to study all the finer nuances a lifetime may not be enough, as the master practitioner of Chado must often also know the related disciplines, such as calligraphy, flower arranging, and the art of the kimono.
Nowadays, there are two main schools for the tea-ceremony: Urasenke Konnichi-an (‘Rear of the Sen house’) and Omotesenke Fushin’an.