As the trees grew heavy with vibrant pink blossoms, wafting their sweet scent in anticipation of the seasonal festivities, we had the distinct honor of sitting down with Ms. Yasuko Takahashi, esteemed Chadō artist. Together, we embarked on a philosophical journey to uncover the origins of tea tradition in Japan, and the intention behind it’s carefully observed ceremony.
Chadō: The Origins
“Tea is nothing other than this: heat the water, prepare the tea, and drink it with propriety. That is all you need to know. Make a delicious bowl of tea; arrange the charcoal to heat the water; arrange the flowers the way they are in the fields; in summer suggest coolness, in the winter warmth; anticipate everything; be ready for rain; show the greatest possible consideration toward your guests.”
THE DOCTRINE OF SEN RIKYU
by Shoshitsu Sen, Urasenke Grand Tea Master XV
The following is a guide to the rich philosophy and origins of Chadō written by Ms. Yasuko Takahashi and translated to English from its original form.
Tea is originally from China, and Japanese people have been enjoying and having tea since the Nara era.
Tea, which was brought by the Eizai Zen master from China, was also used as a medicine in the Kamakura era.
After that, in the 16th Century, Wabicha was spread by Sen Rikyu.
The formal tea ceremony is called Chaji, and we have a lot of practices to serve as the best host.
We spent four hours in Chaji as it is such an exceptional time for guests and hosts to make koicha and usucha, serve tea-ceremony dishes, and boil hot water together.
Chadō: The Philosophy
Chado has four teachings that are known as “Wakeiseijyaku”.
和 WA: HARMONY
“Wa” is referred to as having a good balance serving guests, having a good balance between guests, having a good balance maintaining the tools, and finally the importance of having a good balance of a peaceful body and mind.
敬 KEI: RESPECT
“Kei” presents the mind of respecting others, taking care of your tools, and appreciating everything that makes you alive.
清 SEI: PURITY
“Sei” expresses the purity of not only the physical appearance but also the mental state.
寂 YAKU: TRANQUILITY
Finally, “Yaku” is referred to as an immovable or strong mindset. “Yaku” is the last component that you would acquire after you learn “Wa”, “Kei”, and ”Sei”.
I believe that Chado helps remind us what the most important thing in our life is.
In Chado, we find beauty from imperfections.
As life’s moments appear in new and challenging ways, we offer you a wealth of rituals, new and old, to discover.