Tea Ceremony Lessons


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Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby strickmr » Jul 22nd, '11, 21:47

Tomorrow, I'm going to begin taking traditional Japanese tea ceremony lessons. In Kansas, who knew? The person who is teaching the class has studied with a master of tea in Japan for several years. I don't know all the details yet, but as I know more, I can post.

Anyone have any experience with the traditional ceremony? Anyone ever taken a class? If so, any tips?
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby brandon » Jul 22nd, '11, 21:50

Practice sitting seiza, and print out notes with the common phrases in Japanese, eg "excuse me for drinking before you."

You'll also need a chakin and fukin besides the more obvious matcha paraphanelia.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby strickmr » Jul 22nd, '11, 21:55

Alright, I'll keep that in mind. Is it difficult to learn?
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby gingkoseto » Jul 22nd, '11, 23:42

I didn't take any lessons, but attended a few Japanese tea ceremonies. To me the hardest part is sitting in kneeling position for a long time. But in all the ones I attended, the hosts announced up-front that kneeling through was not required :mrgreen:
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby JBaymore » Jul 23rd, '11, 01:11

gingkoseto wrote: But in all the ones I attended, the hosts announced up-front that kneeling through was not required :mrgreen:


As a guest, and a "casual one" and westerner maybe at that, comfort trumps "formality". As a person actually studying it....... sitting seiza is likely not an option with most senseis.

I agree that practicing sitting seiza at home for (at first) brief but increasing time periods is a place that you really should go. Also learn HOW to do it correctly... it makes a difference. Your sensei will teach you.

My study of Iaido, in which getting into seiza and out of seiza, and also sitting that way motionless with the "1000 mile stare" for longer periods has been very helpful to Chado.

But it does all take a toll on old knees for sure.

best,

............john
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby David R. » Jul 23rd, '11, 04:37

Here's a great blog on studying the way of tea : Sweetpersimmon.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby SlientSipper » Jul 23rd, '11, 14:41

I remember in Uji...
Before you even pick up the bowl of Matcha.
you're supposed to bow and then pick up the bowl.
Slowly turn the bowl twice going clockwise.
and take a sip...
oh its heavenly.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby strickmr » Jul 23rd, '11, 17:47

Thanks guys! I appreciate the tips. And I lied, by "tomorrow", I meant Sunday. I need to learn a few things from Rebecca Black, perhaps...

I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes. Anyone recommend a book to read on it? I feel like it shouldn't be taught in a book, but maybe it can offer a few good tips.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby JBaymore » Jul 23rd, '11, 19:10

strickmr wrote:Anyone recommend a book to read on it? I feel like it shouldn't be taught in a book, but maybe it can offer a few good tips.


I don't know how your sensei will approach things, but a lot of "traditional" Japanese teachers tend to want you to ask them for your educational needs. With some people, going "outside" your sensei's teaching can be felt to be a betrayal of a core bond of trust and commitment. With some people, you can "blow" the relationship by doing so very overtly.

So you will likely have to get a "feel" for that situation with your sensei.

At first...... your sensei should be your sole "teacher" on this field of study. Go into things with him/her as a totally blank slate. Simply follow their example and instructions, and hold the "but......." or the "I read somewhere......" or the "xxxxxx told me to........ " until you are well along to a certain level of understanding.

best,

.................john
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby strickmr » Jul 24th, '11, 00:14

JBaymore wrote:
strickmr wrote:Anyone recommend a book to read on it? I feel like it shouldn't be taught in a book, but maybe it can offer a few good tips.


I don't know how your sensei will approach things, but a lot of "traditional" Japanese teachers tend to want you to ask them for your educational needs. With some people, going "outside" your sensei's teaching can be felt to be a betrayal of a core bond of trust and commitment. With some people, you can "blow" the relationship by doing so very overtly.

So you will likely have to get a "feel" for that situation with your sensei.

At first...... your sensei should be your sole "teacher" on this field of study. Go into things with him/her as a totally blank slate. Simply follow their example and instructions, and hold the "but......." or the "I read somewhere......" or the "xxxxxx told me to........ " until you are well along to a certain level of understanding.

best,

.................john


I'll definitely remember this. Thank you.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby SlientSipper » Jul 24th, '11, 00:16

Being a student implies your ignorance of the topic.
so yes the sensei would understand that you have little to no knowledge of the subject.

Its good that you are taking this class. I applaud you for it.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby strickmr » Jul 24th, '11, 17:50

Well, I just got back from my first visit. The group of students as well as the teachers are extremely nice and very helpful. I didn't make tea on my first visit, but I got to drink both usucha and koicha (which was my very first experience with the thick tea, and very much enjoyable). It was actually my first experience with the Japanese tea ceremony at all, and was really quite a great experience. I recommend it for everyone indulging in the art of tea.
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Re: Tea Ceremony Lessons

Postby JBaymore » Jul 24th, '11, 19:31

strickmr wrote:Well, I just got back from my first visit.


はじめってです。 おめでとごうざいます。
It begins. Congratulations.

best,

。。。。。。ジヨン
.................john
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