Skip to content

Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremonies are a cultural activity in which the art of presentation and objects play an important role. Heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism, the ceremony is an act of hospitality ranging from the informal to formal. History records the Buddhist monk Eichū returning from China with leaf tea in the 9th century and performing the first ceremony. This was quickly followed by the formation of tea plantations in Japan. Late in the 12th century, Buddhist monk Eisai returned from China with a powdered matcha tea and seeds that produced superb quality plants. It was then that the tea ceremony ritual caught on and was used mainly in Buddhist monasteries. By the 13thcentury the ceremony had migrated and was entrenched with the high status shogunate warrior class.

Traditional Japanese culture and the art of the tea ceremony we know today began to evolve around the 14th-16th centuries. In this period, the transformative and performative ceremonial nature took hold. The concepts of ‘Wabi’, the spiritual, and ‘Sabi’, the material, were paired. Japanese pottery embodied this ideal in tea ware. Strict symmetry was not required and natural variations to the glaze and clay surface were celebrated as natural occurrences of beauty. We are pleased to offer the opportunity to hold your own tea ceremony with lots from our upcoming Asian Works of Art at Stair, October 14th at 11 am.

Time & Location

Asian Works of Art
Thursday, October 14 at 11am

Back To Top