Source: Artelino website http://www.artelino.com/articles/japanese_tea_ceremony.asp
The Japanese tea ceremony is called chanoyu or sado in Japanese and the bitter tea served is called matcha. It is basically a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving tea together with some sweets. Each movement is predefined. The whole process is not about drinking tea, it is about aesthetics. The proper performance requires a long training and the use of certain tools like Chasen, a bamboo brush.
The cult of the tea ceremony spread from China to Japan as early as in the eight century, but it did not become popular until the late 16th century, when during the Momoyama period a refined way of manners and customs developed among the aristocratic and samurai classes.
The great master of the Japan tea ceremony was Sen no Rikyu who lived from 1522 to 1591. Since then the art of sado has been handed down from generation to generation. Sado is practiced in different schools, with each school having slightly different choreographic forms. The main schools are Ura, Omote, and Mushakoji.
Being regarded as an art form of its own, the Japanese tea ceremony had significant impact on other forms of arts and crafts. It was a major force in the development of Japanese porcelain manufacturing.
In today's Japan there are different opinions about the tea ceremony, but most Japanese regard it as part of their cultural heritage. The interest to learn chanoyu as a hobby, is large. But there are also many young Japanese who regard chanoyu as simply boring.
|Title|| Tea Ceremony (Cha no Yu)
|Catalogue Raisonné||U-114 (as listed in Shiro Kasamatsu - The Complete Woodblock Prints, Dr. Andreas Gund, self-published by the author, 2001, Tokyo)|
||Kasamatsu Shirō (1898–1991)|
|Date|| originally published 1954
|Edition||likely a first, or early (pre-1960), edition as indicated by date in Kanji on the bottom of the left margin. (For more information on dating Unsōdō prints see the article Unsōdō Publishing.)|
|Publisher||Unsōdō ("Unsōdō han" seal center left margin top-most seal)|
|Printer|| Shinmi Saburo ("suri Shinmi" seal center left margin 2nd seal down)
|Carver|| Nagashima Michio ("hori Nagashima" seal center left margin 3rd seal down)
|Condition|| excellent - minor toning and mat line
|Genre||shin hanga (new prints)|
|Format|| Oban tate-e
|H x W Paper|| 15 7/8 x 10 3/4 in. (40.3 x 27.3 cm)
|H x W Image|| 14 3/8 x 9 1/2 in. (36.5 x 24.1 cm)
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