Chadō

The Rich Philosophy and Origins of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

Insights
Yasuko Takahashi
Words (Japanese)
Yasuko Takahashi
Words (English)
Maddy Macdonald
Photography
Nathalie Attallah

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.

Cherry Blossom Mountain

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.

Chadō Japanese Tea Ceremony Pour

茶は中国から伝わり、奈良時代にすでに日本で飲用されていました。

Tea is originally from China, and Japanese people have been enjoying and having tea since the Nara era.

ときを経て鎌倉時代に英財前氏が中国から持ち帰った茶は、当初薬として扱われます。

Tea, which was brought by the Eizai Zen master from China, was also used as a medicine in the Kamakura era.

その後16世紀に侘び茶を広めたのが、千利休です。

After that, in the 16th Century, Wabicha was spread by Sen Rikyu.

正式な茶会は茶事と呼ばれ、その亭主を務めるべく、わたくしたち茶道を嗜む者は稽古を繰り返します。

The formal tea ceremony is called Chaji, and we have a lot of practices to serve as the best host.

約4時間を費やす茶事は、炭をおこして湯を沸かし、懐石料理を振る舞い、濃茶を練り、薄茶をたて、もてなす側ともてなされる側が一つになる特別な時間です。

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

また茶道の4つの教えは、和敬清寂で表されます。

Chado has four teachings that are known as “Wakeiseijyaku”.

 

和 WA: HARMONY

和とは、客をもてなす側の和、客同士の和、道具のとり合わせの和、自身の心の和の重要性を語っています。

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

敬とは人を敬う心、道具を大切にする心、万物によって生かされているという感謝の念を表します。

Kei” presents the mind of respecting others, taking care of your tools, and appreciating everything that makes you alive.

 

清 SEI: PURITY

清とは見た目だけではなく、心の清らかさも大切だと説いています。

Sei” expresses the purity of not only the physical appearance but also the mental state.

 

寂 YAKU: TRANQUILITY

寂とは和敬清寂の3つを身につけたときに得られる、何事にも動じない不動心です。

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”.

 

茶道は人が生きていく上で、大切なものは何であるかをおしえてくれる道であると私は思います。

I believe that Chado helps remind us what the most important thing in our life is.

茶道におきましても不完全な美といいまして、不均衡なものに美を見出すことがあります。

In Chado, we find beauty from imperfections.

Chadō complete

Continue Learning

As life’s moments appear in new and challenging ways, we offer you a wealth of rituals, new and old, to discover.

Delve further into the celebration of cherry blossoms.
Continue your exploration of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
The ritual’s secret ingredient, uncover the magical properties of the revered Matcha.
Art, beauty, culture: Discover a wealth of rituals from around the world.

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