The Japanese tea ceremony is a very beautiful and meaningful traditional culture of Japan. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Which in every step in the tea ceremony, is made by the heart whether to prepare the sweets till to making tea. Having witnessed or taken part in the Japanese Tea Ceremony even for only once, they will understand that in Japan, serving tea is an art and a spiritual discipline. In my opinion, everyone can experience that by themselves and I think that it is one of the must do thing when coming to Japan.
As we enter the tea room we could see a scroll painting or calligraphy scroll which has four Japanese words “Wa Kei Sei Jaku (和 敬 清 寂)” written on it. I will like to explain those characters since they are the four principle of tea, highest and the most important component in the tea room. The four principles of wa-kei-sei-jaku, or harmony, respect, purity and tranquility, act as the "motto" of the study of the tea ceremony.
“Wa” means to be one with the nature and to be one with other people in the ceremony or to be in harmony. In the class the teacher said we all are equal, no one is higher than anyone. Everyone becomes “Tea person”. When we walk in to the tea room we have to leave everything behind, our pride our ego go. At the ceremony there should be harmony between host and guest, guest and guest, mood and season, the food served and utensils used.
“Kei” means respects. Respect results naturally from a feeling of gratitude. Respect is extended not only to the other people with whom one interacts but also to one’s daily life, and even to inanimate objects, such as utensils as a product of human effort or whatever has come into existence. The etiquette observed in the tearoom helps a student of Tea to learn to apply the principle of kei. To the uninitiated...