Hello everyone, the past Tuesday of this week our class attended a Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu) at the Doshisha University in Kyoto. The four of us sat in a small tatami room and observed no action was wasted as our host prepared each individual cup of matcha tea. The taste was very earthy and fresh, but I don’t think I would be able to drink it in excess. After everyone had a cup of tea, we were served special sweets made only in Kyoto, Japan. (See photo) I had taken the yellow one. The texture was different but it was very sweet. Then, we were all were given a chance to make tea for our hosts. We did not have to learn how to preform each movement exactly, but there is a specification for the mixing of the tea. When you mix the matcha into the water with the tea whisk (chasen), be sure to form a little foam on the surface. It definitely adds a distinct look to the tea.
The following Thursday we also attended a Japanese Flower Arrangement (Ikebana) class. Flower arrangements can range from small to large, and short to tall, depending on the style of flower arrangement. The three arrangements we learned of were Rikka Style, Shoka Style, and free style. The Rikka style of flower was developed by Buddhism as a representation of nature’s beauty, and may include around seven branches. While Shoka style consist of only three different branches. Free style can look any way the artist would want it to, and have as many branches as they want. Included are photos of my flower arrangement.
Check back next week for my final journal while in Japan.