Tea Ceremony, 茶道 sadou, or the way of the tea, is a very Japanese cultural activity. This is one of my host mom’s hobby and passion. She is also a sado master herself, teaching the art at schools and at home and has many disciples under her sash. Me being in her care, I am also learning this art as well As such, she attends many tea ceremony “conferences” and occasionally takes me along if I want to go. Here’s one of such…
Tea ceremony isn’t exactly a pastime that most youthful Japanese kids are into ^^;. As you can see… just about everyone who attended this event is a bit on the older side with the exception of me and a middle school girl (one of host mom’s disciples) who came with us. I felt so out of place…
This was a rather serious and formal event. So you have one special student of the organization performing the actual demonstration in the back, while more people in the backroom prepare tea for the audience. If it was just that one person making the tea for everyone, it would take hours ^^;
Tea ceremony is a very, if not completely, process oriented procedure. Every step of the way toward making the cup of tea has a specific way; the way you hold the handkerchief at near chest level above both knees your left knee, the way you fold said handkerchief, the way you wipe the tea container and tea spoon, the way you open and place the lid down, the way you pick up the bowl and hand it to the person you’re serving… everything! When I first started this training, I was decidedly uncultured and became deeply frustrated with the whole “you must do it exactly this way!” procedure. I was like, “C’mon! All this just for a cup of matcha?!” Haha. It took around three weeks before I got the hang of it and made it through 80% of the process without my host mom correcting my action. It’s easier to be on the receiving end: Just enjoy the beautiful craftsmanship on the cup and the tea!
Wagashi 和菓子, Japanese sweets, is usually served with the tea as well. They are always so meticulously well made and decorated that it felt like a waste to eat them ^^;.
After everyone enjoyed the tea, we were allowed to walk around and take a gander at the crafts made by various tea masters throughout the times. I like that biwa!
Japanese rooms have really short door frames. I’m not even 6′ but I can press my head against the top if I stand up straight. My host folks’ house is like this too.
This is was on a different day but I don’t have enough photos or have much to talk about to make an actual post so I’ll just dump it here. I finally got a chance to walk up to Osaka Castle, one of Osaka’s most famous landmarks, and grabbed a few shots. From far away, this castle looked like a decent size but up close… it’s kind of small ^^;. This castle is just a replica (completely rebuilt and renovated) of its former self so it’s actually more like a “modern building in a shape of a castle” than an actual castle and it certainly feels that way when you see it in person. Inside is a museum so maybe I’ll swing by some other day to actually go inside. It will probably just look like the inside of Hiroshima Castle ^^;