Tea and the Japanese Tradition of Chanoyu
Grade Level: Middle School – High School
Includes curriculum unit + CD-ROM of images + DVD ("An Invitation to Tea: 'Ichigo Ichie'")
The Japanese tradition of chanoyu (pronounced chah-no-you) often simplistically referred to as the Japanese tea ceremony, is a practice that evolved from the tea gatherings of China's Song Dynasty. Over the course of several centuries, Japan's tea practice became formalized by a man named Sen Rikyu in the 16th century. Rikyu's form of tea encompassed art, religion, social interaction, and economics, and has contributed significantly to the history and culture of Japan. In fact, he so revolutionized chanoyu that he is universally recognized as the most important tea master who ever lived.
Tea and the Japanese Tradition of Chanoyu introduces students to this multifaceted tradition, how this tradition is practiced today, and how it endures from one generation to the next.
Lesson One provides students with a brief background about tea and its various uses.
Lesson Two presents students with a history of tea and examines the role that tea has played in world history.
Lesson Three introduces students to the history of tea in Japan, as well as the origin and development of chanoyu. Students learn about the significance of chanoyu by examining it in the context of its four basic principles: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.
Lesson Four helps students understand the physical setting of the tearoom and the basic procedures of chanoyu.
Lesson Five examines some of the ways that chanoyu has been transmitted over time, as well as some of the ways that the tradition has been transformed over generations.