I was just reading excerpts from a new book 'The One Taste of Truth: Zen and the Art of Drinking Tea' and it turns out Japan has a great tea tradition today because 400 years after the Buddhist priest Kukai introduced tea seeds to Japan, via Chinese Buddhist practices, a monk named 'Eisai (1141–1215, who is credited as popularizing tea in Japan)', proclaimed;
"drinking tea would ameliorate the people’s health"... "To that effect, he wrote two treatises: the Kozen gokoku-ron, or The Promotion of Zen and the Protection of the Nation, explaining the benefits of establishing this new sect; and the Kissa yojoki, Drinking Tea and Maintaining Health....The latter short book, written entirely in classical Chinese, is for the most part a practical explanation of why tea drinking promotes health. His approach is a mixture of Confucian philosophy, traditional Chinese medicine, and Shingon symbolism, but his main emphasis is this: the heart is the primary organ of the body, and tea is the heart’s medicine. Everyone should drink tea for a more healthy life." http://www.dailyom.com/cgi-bin/display/ ... cleid=3055
Health is equated with artistry and with life.