Tea culture of Japan

Ah became famous in Japan in the VIII century. The custom of drinking tea, like many others, came to Japan from China in the course of borrowing a rich continental culture of the neighboring state. However, as it often happened in Japan, foreign culture was not just perceived, but creatively reinterpreted. In Japan the process of making food and tea was elevated to an art form, were developed canonical rules of the tea act, a special tea room (cha-shitsu), knowledge and experience were passed from teacher to student in the process of understanding spiritual, philosophical, aesthetic and moral principles of the way of Tea.

Already in the XVI century European travelers returning from Japan, wrote about the “tea ceremonies” – “chanoyu”, in which they tried an unusual drink bright green color with a bitter taste of “matcha”. They said that besides the usual black and green tea in Japan is the so-called “ceremonial tea”, and the “tea ceremony” or the Way of Tea, as it is called by the Japanese themselves, is a sophisticated form of communication. Called the name of a famous tea master of that time – sen-no-Rikyu. This talented person made the most significant contribution to the development of the tea ceremony and distribution of spiritual ideals tea. The memory of him is alive in Japan to this day.

Over the centuries the tradition of the way of Tea became stronger, and now this unique phenomenon is known all over the world. The descendants of sen-no-Rikyu, the followers of the tea house of sen schools was continued and developed the ancient traditions. The most significant figure in the modern tea world — a descendant of the Great master in the fifteenth generation of the sen Soshitsu XV — the head of the tea school “Urasenke”. The school itself is located in Kyoto, the ancient Japanese capital, is a beautiful and picturesque place that has preserved the atmosphere and flavor of former times. In this school trained hundreds of people from all over Japan, so that with time, becoming masters of ourselves, to practice the Way of Tea. The school has its branches overseas, the tradition of tea “Urasenke” exploring more than 60 countries around the world.

In Russia too there are branches of this school. In Moscow with 1989, and in Yekaterinburg since 1993, conducts workshops, lectures. The Moscow branch of the tea school is located in the building of the Institute of Asian and African MSU. M. V. Lomonosov Moscow state University (old University building on Mokhovaya street). Created at the laboratory of ecology of culture, class tea works in close cooperation with the chair of Japanese Philology, IAAS MSU. The class is open not only for students and University employees, everyone comes here, people who are interested in the culture and traditions of Japan.

Since 1992, in the Japanese garden of the Botanical garden of the Academy of Sciences of Russia in Moscow held demonstrations of the tea act, are invited up to 600 guests. This event has already become an annual event, it can visit everyone. It is held on the first Saturday and Sunday of June. Here You can really feel the beauty and sophistication of “chanoyu”, feeling like a guest. Enjoy tea and seasonal Japanese sweets, will talk about the tradition of the way of Tea, You can enjoy the company of a tea master, turning away from the everyday worries of the outside world.

You will be told that historically, the idea of Tea were very close to the ideas of Zen Buddhism. Zen monks who first brought tea and tea culture to Japan, gave rise to the spiritual understanding of this Journey. To this day spiritual and philosophical ideals play a huge role in the culture of Tea. Based on the intuitive search for the essence of everyday realities, the commandments open up the Zen tea master big room for development towards self-improvement and learning that is not limited by one only Tea.

Aesthetic ideals of this Path is the basis of many types of Japanese arts and crafts, enriched the Japanese culture; they currently define the basic principles of Japanese etiquette and taste. The way of Tea includes not only the procedure of making tea and socializing with the guests, but the manufacture of tea ware, knowledge of fine and applied arts, literature, calligraphy, design and construction of tea houses and rooms, the garden architecture. Studying the world of Tea need to sit behind the wheel to take up a brush, try to imagine the work of an architect and a carpenter, to be familiar with the rules of versification, and a combination of different types of flowers. A constantly evolving, vibrant and rich world of Japanese tea culture is open to everyone. You can too touch him, to try yourself in mastering the art of Tea, learn new things about this amazing world.


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