Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tea Ceremony

One of the girls demonstrated a tea ceremony for us last night.  It was very interesting.

We had to use rice bowls because they were the only Japanese bowls I had, but they were perfect..  The tea is a bitter green tea called Matcha.  It comes in a powder form that had to be whisked before it was served. The whisk is carved out of bamboo.  As she served us she explained some of the customs surrounding this ceremony, like turning the bowls three times.  Tiny sweet, sugary candies are served to offset the bitter tea flavour.

The students learn this ceremony at their school in order to keep the tradition alive.  It is performed in a special room that has a tatami mat on the floor.  This mat has traditionally been made out of rice straw.  You can see an example of a tatami mat on my table.  A student from a previous year gave me that to use as a hotplate.

In the tea room, the guests and the server remove their shoes and sit on the tatami mat during the ceremony. The girls have to learn about flower arranging and pottery making in order to perform the tea ceremony.  I think that is because those elements are part of the ceremony.

I just love having the girls come from Japan and stay in my home for a few days.  I learn so much from them about their culture and traditions.


KaHolly said...

I applaud the efforts to teach their customs to the new generations.

Exuberant Color said...

I'm sure the girls love coming to stay at your house too. There are so many traditions that you would never know in detail without this sharing.

Wacky Woman said...

How very special for you Hetty!