In the Zen philosophy, the simplicity is a strong concept. Also the ritual of Japanese tea is without flourish. On the utensils side, there is only the strict minimum: the white cloth (chakin) used to clean the bowl, the wooden ladle (hishaku) for water, the silk square (fukusa), the spatula for scooping The tea (chashaku), the little bamboo whisk to make tea (chasen), the tea box (natsume), without forgetting the bowl itself (chawan), made by a master ceramist.
A simple but complex art
In a thousand-year choreography between economy of gestures and psalmodic words, the officiant begins by lighting the fire to boil the water. Then he pours some matcha tea (green tea) into the bowl using the chashaku, then adds the steaming water and stirs the whole with the chasen.
Once served, the guests, sitting on tatami mats around the officiant, can now taste the beverage, not without having bowed beforehand. This deference testifies to the respect due to the present moment. Just before drinking, one turns the bowl three times in his hands to better contemplate it. The guest is also supposed to contemplate his surroundings, nature, the unmissable calligraphy and floral arrangements (chabana) which are also part of the ritual.
A School of Patience
No precipitation therefore; The tea ritual (chadô) is above all a gourmet meditation during which the senses awaken. It provides access to harmony, respect (of the other, self), purity (exterior and interior) and absolute serenity. Traditionally, the whole ritual involves a collation (kaiseki) followed by two tea services. It can take up to four hours. An art that you sometimes have to learn a lifetime before you are initiated.
In many cultures, including in Africa, the gesture of hospitality which consists in offering to drink to a guest is highly valued. With the difference that the Japanese made it a spiritual practice.