2 Tea and Zen History

Text and Images from Slide

An eight tatami mat tea room. On the right is an alcove covered with sliver-grey paper. A scroll with a Japanese character hangs in the alcove. There is a low Chinese-style table with a celadon vase full of flowers in the alcove. On the left two sliding doors lead to a closet or another room. They are also covered with silver-grey paper. A small hearth is cut in the floor. The edge of the hearth is lined with a red and black lacquer frame.

An elegant tearoom called Horai at Koto-in, Daitokuji, Kyoto

View all slides | Contents of this slide

Lecture Notes

It did not take long for the practice of drinking tea to spread from the religious elite to the secular upper classes. The court nobles prepared and drank tea with the same techniques and equipment as the monks. But, the secular elite added elements of entertainment, frivolity and conspicuous consumption. This worldly approach to Tea existed in tandem with temple ritual for the next several hundred years.