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The Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chaji) By Hana-chan of Hokkaido Guided Tour of the Tea Ceremony Guest Host The machiai Always arrive on time. You will be shown into the waiting room, or machiai . The hanto , or assistant, will offer you sayu , which is the boiling water used to make tea.

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The Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chaji)

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the japanese tea ceremony chaji

The Japanese Tea Ceremony(Chaji)

By Hana-chan of Hokkaido

the machiai
The machiai
  • Always arrive on time.
  • You will be shown into the waiting room, or machiai.
  • The hanto, or assistant, will offer you sayu, which is the boiling water used to make tea.
  • Choose one of the guests to be the main guest.
the roji
The roji
  • The hanto will lead you (main guest first) into a garden sprinkled with water that has no flowers (called the roji).
  • In this room, you rid yourself of the dust from the outside world.
  • Sit on the waiting bench, or koshikake machiai and wait for the host.
the chumon
The chumon
  • The host will lead you through the middle gate, or chumon.
  • You should purify yourself at the tsukubai, or stone basin, set among fresh water and stones.
  • Enter the teahouse.
  • Careful! The door is only 36 inches high! You must bow and crouch to enter the tea house: making everyone equal.
the teahouse
The Teahouse
  • When you enter the teahouse, you should admire the kakemono, or scroll painting, hanging in an alcove that is named tokonoma.
  • Look at the tea kettle and the fire in the hearth.
the meal
The Meal
  • You will be served a three-course meal called chakaiseki.
  • Try your hardest to eat all of the food that is given to you.
  • The first course is named hashiarai (rinsing the chopsticks) and consists of foods simmered in broth (nimono) and grilled foods (yakimono).
  • During the second course (hassun), seafood and mountain food (respectively, uminomono and yamanomono) is served.
  • The third course consists of konomono (fragrant things) and is served with browned rice cooked in salt water.
between the meal and the tea
Between the Meal and the Tea
  • After the meal, the host will ask you to retire to the machiai or the roji.
  • When the tea is ready, a gong or a bell will be rung five to seven times. This means you should return to the tea house.
the tea
The Tea
  • The host will have prepared matcha, or green tea.
  • The bowl of matcha will be passed around the table. You should rotate the bowl in your hand so as to admire it and so as not to drink from the front of the bowl.
  • Drink some of the tea, wipe off the rim of the bowl where you drank, and pass the bowl to the next guest.
after the tea ceremony
After the Tea Ceremony
  • Send your host a thank you letter to tell him/her how much you enjoyed their ceremony.
  • This note is called korei (thanking afterwards).
That is how a guest should behave and what he/she should do at a tea ceremony.

Back to see

What the Host

Has to Do

before the ceremony
Before the Ceremony
  • Inside the only alcove in the room (tokonoma), place a scroll painting, or kakemono.
  • Build a charcoal fire, perfumed with incense.
before the teahouse
Before the Teahouse
  • Fill the tsukubai (stone basin) with water.
  • Bow to the guests.
  • Lead the guests through the chumon and into the teahouse.
the meal14
The Meal
  • Serve the guests the meal (chakaiseki).
  • You may eat in the first course, hashiarai.
  • During hassun, the second course, you must eat.
  • After the meal, tell your guests to go back to the machiai or the roji.
preparing for the tea
Preparing for the Tea
  • Remove the scroll inside the tokonoma and replace it with flowers.
  • Place a stoneware jar filled with water (mizusashi) on the table.
  • Put the chaire (container holding the matcha) on the table and cover it with a silk pouch called the shifuku.
the tea ceremony
The Tea Ceremony
  • Ring a bell or gong to summon the guests back to the teahouse.
  • Come in with a tea bowl (chawan), holding the chasen (tea whisk), and the tea scoop, or chashaku. Arrange these instruments around the water jar already on the table. The water jug symbolizes the sun (yang), and the tea bowl symbolizes the moon, (yin)
  • Using a silk cloth, or fukusa, purify the tea container and tea scoop.
  • Ladle hot water into the tea bowl and rinse the whisk.
  • Empty the tea bowl.
  • Place three scoops of tea per guest into the tea bowl. Put water from the tea kettle into the tea bowl and whisk it until it forms a paste.
  • Add water until the tea is about the consistency of pea soup.
  • Pass the tea bowl to the main guest.
  • After everyone has drunk, rinse the tea scoop and clean the tea container.