Friday, December 7, 2012

Tea ceremony manners for guests 1



Would you like to attend a Japanese tea ceremony?  As a guest of the ceremony all you have to do is simply enjoy the tea and spread. However, there are hundreds of etiquette one should know when in the ceremony.  Don’t worry.  I’ll lay down the five most basic rules that you should know for attending your first ceremony!

1.    Take off your watch and accessories.
2.    Do not seat at the first and the last seats.
3.    Enjoy your sweet before tea.
4.    Avoid drinking the tea from the front of tea bowl.
5.    Observe the bowl at a low position.

1.    Take off your watch and accessories.
The host might serve you the tea with his treasured tea bowl.  You do not want to damage it with your rings or with your accessories.  It is the well-known reason, but I also think that, in the tea room, there is no need for you to glam up or be bound by time.  Take off your watch and accessories before getting into the tea room.



2.    Do not seat at the first and the last seats.
The main (first) guest and the last guest have special roles to do during the ceremony.  So, it’s better to avoid sitting the first and the last position.  Usually, the nearest seat to the tokonoma alcove is the position for the main guest. 



As you can see, the rules are not so difficult.  I’ll talk about the rest in the next entry.

7 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I would like to ask about sweets.
    You've posted articles about sweets many times and they are offten consumed with tea.
    Doesn't the taste or sweetness of sweet affect/influence the tase of tea? As tea is drank after the sweet is eaten...
    Or does it have particular purpose to be that in this way?
    Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Miro-san,
      At tea ceremonies, you don’t usually put the sweets and tea into your mouth at the same time. You eat the sweets before the tea is served. Therefore, the flavors of the sweets and tea don’t mix or disturb each other. You might have a slight remaining taste of the sweets in your mouth when you have the tea. It can enhance the flavor of tea for sure.
      There is also purpose to protect your stomach from matcha, strong tea, by eating food or sweets before drinking the tea.

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  2. Thanks for this post!

    Is it enough to put watch/jewellery in a pocket or do I leave them at home? Can a lady carry a small bag with her?

    I may attend a ceremony this coming spring and though we'll probably be told what to do it's good to know these little details beforehand. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you don’t have to leave your jewelry at home. You can take them off at the waiting room in the tea house. Formally, you don’t take a bag into the tea room, but you may be allowed to bring a tea purse, which contains kaishi paper, sweet pick, folding fan and silk cloth. I hope you enjoy the ceremony!! Have fun!!!

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  3. Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.
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    ReplyDelete