Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A tea ceremony room (CHASHITSU 茶室)

A tea ceremony room is a facility which is used for accommodating a guest by a host of tea gathering in tea ceremony.

*Jo-an 如庵
photo by 列島宝物館


A custom of tea drinking has been existed since Heian-era(平安時代) in Japan. When it became Kamakura-era(鎌倉時代) , the custom was wide spread around Zen(禅) temples. Tea drinking was not ceremony, it was a part of entertainment in the time. Since the custom of tea drinking was spread and became a habit, it got need specific environment.  A room attached tea facilities was gradually formed and established, and tea culture was too. the tea culture in those times was said SHOIN CHA 書院茶.
At first, Chinese tea things (tea bowl, wall scroll and other tea stuff) was used for a ceremony, but Japanese own preference gradually emerged, it connected to the tea room in the tea hut, the style was called "WABICHA 侘び茶" it was established by SEN NO RIKYU 千利休).


WABICHA was a counter part against SYOIN CHA 書院茶, it was a part of entertainment included noh farce 能, linked poem (RENKA 連歌) , much influenced from Chinese culture and wide spread among samurai since Kamakura-era 鎌倉時代 to Muromachi-era 室町時代.
WABI CHA was much more influenced ZEN 禅 culture. A tea set appearance at first grance to be footy was used at WABICHA ceremony against in SYOIN CHA 書院茶 ceremony, an expensive Chinese tea set used in it. There was ascetic ZEN 禅 philosophy in WABI CHA 侘び茶.
A tea ceremony changed from entertainment to ceremony for limited people to exchange their minds. This change let tea room's style change dramatically.


RIKYU was a person who established WABI CHA 侘び茶 and his tea room designs have had still impact to Japanese architectural design today.
RIKYU fully enforced ascetic philosophy to everything of tea instruments teacup, wall scroll, and even a tea room. He made a tea room apart from a residence, other ward made a tea hut.

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