Urszula Mach-Bryson, Grzebień w supraporcie. Rodzina cesarska i chanoyu

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Urszula Mach-Bryson

The Comb in the Overdoor – The Imperial Household and Chanoyu

 

The article compiles several of the most important facts in the history of the Japanese Way of Tea showing its ties to the Japanese Imperial household. Tea itself was brought to Japan from the continent on various occasions and in various stages in its development as a beverage closely reflecting cultural transformations, and over the centuries changed the nature of its presence in the Japanese court. The most precious of drinks, brought all the way from China, and constituting the presence of highly regarded Chinese culture on Japanese soil, tea was a part of religious rituals performed at the Imperial court. This plant of such executive importance was even granted its own plantation within the Imperial Palace grounds (Jpn. daidairi chaen). From the beginning of the 14th century, gatherings involving tea developed into one of the court’s numerous pastimes. Due to Hideyoshi’s famous golden tearoom wabi tea finds its way into the Imperial court. The later history of relations between the royal family and tea masters contains multiple threads, one being the friendship between Emperor Gomizunoo’s wife, Tōfukumon’in and Sen Sōtan. The article not only retells those stories but also indicates how the encounter with the royal family went on changing the art of chanoyu, leaving traces still alive in present practices.