Education About Asia: Online Archives

The Japanese Way of Tea: From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu

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By Sen Soshitsu

Translated by V. Dixon Morris

HONOLULU: UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESS, 1998 XXVII + 229 PAGES

Reviewed by David D. Buck

The present-day tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu) takes Sen Rikyu (1522–91) as its founder. The author of this specialized history is the current master in one of three lineages of chanoyu schools that trace their origins back more than four hundred years to Sen Rikyu. The present Sen Soshitsu (b. 1923) is the fifteenth descendent in the Urasenke branch. The Urasenke tradition is the most prominent in Japan and has actively promoted itself overseas. Soshitsu XV, among his various activities promoting the Way of Tea (chado or sado), has taught on a visiting basis in the Department of History at the University of Hawaii for many years. This book provides, in scholarly garb, his teachings about the art of tea.