The sort of Japanese hospitality strived for by Rikyu
Great Acharya Kakudo Mitsunaga, Hokuryodaigyoman
I felt the gentleness of the candlelight in the darkness, experienced a world without sound in a modern age full of it, and realized the value of food. This is an ideal place for noticing various things that one doesn’t normally pay attention to and for cultivating the ability to think. The tea ceremony gave me the opportunity to meet in a space devoid of all that is unnecessary, enjoy delicious tea and a simple meal, and have a genuine heart-to-heart, which makes wabi-cha a prime example of what Rikyu sought, and that’s what Japanese hospitality is really about. There, in that stripped-down place, only that which is necessary remains. That is the true nature of reality.
I was entranced by the worldview
Myokan Matsumoto, great Buddhist statue sculptor
During my 50-year life, there have been many times when I’ve sensed changes in various values and sensitivities. And it was at a time like that when I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a “Wabichakai tea ceremony”. I was a little nervous and confused at first, but my point of view was broadened as the ceremony proceeded, I was surprised to find that the glow of the candlelight in that unusual, dream-like space was brighter than I imagined, and there even seemed to be something sexy about the tea master’s dignified appearance and precise, beautiful movements. I found myself entranced by the worldview when the ceremony ended.
The Japanese beauty discovered in the gloomy darkness
Malcolm Ledger, pianist
The evening atmosphere prepared sincerely by the host was attractive and enchanting.The other world left behind at the garden gate is revealed in the sounds that can be heard outside the tea room. There are no distractions ,no calls on your attention.There is only stillness and the quiet singing of the kettle.Your senses seem to have been restored to some original condition of alertness and loss of self. The heart finally stop the time. A meal eaten in a quiet environment is very meditative because it makes the taste more prominent and makes the senses more focused. I could find the essence of Japanese beauty in dim. It was a wonderful experience to taste for the first time.
The sound heard in the silence
Shiho Tanaka, vocalist
As someone who grew up in Tokyo, I was always drawn to Kyoto’s traditional culture. When I experienced the recent “Wabichakai tea ceremony”, I felt something even deeper than I imagined. The deliciousness of the simple meal I ate within nothing but candlelight washed over me, and I almost cried. And then there was the soundless, lightless world of the “Wabichakai tea ceremony”. But there was also a rich brightness and sound there. I found myself with a strong desire to incorporate the “sound that can only be heard in the depths of silence” into my own songs.
An imagination-stimulating experience for employee training
Hiroshi Okui, director and producer at an advertising agency
As I listened to the sound of the kettle, I experienced a sense of freedom, almost like I was expanding to fill that closed space. I suspected that there were likely other realizations I could experience if I went a second or third time depending on my state. A friend of mine attended with me, each word they exchanged with the host penetrated me to the core, and I learned that they’d made reservations for “CHANOYU therapy” to take a closer look at themselves. I think this tea ceremony, which stimulates the imagination, could be used for some kind of company employee training.
Effects on daily life
Kayoko Mizuta, office worker
Yasuko Masuda, beauty salon manager
Naoko Matsunaga, office worker
While my eyes were closed and I focused on the sound of my breathing, it seemed like my awareness flowed upward, and I felt good. I slept well that night and woke up the next morning feeling refreshed!
This was my second time, and I put the focus on myself and meditated. During the hustle and bustle of my daily life, I managed to regain myself, strengthen my footing, and find the strength to take the next step.
I was soothed by the soft Kyoto dialect of the host, and I felt myself relax. The way the tea was prepared was extremely beautiful, and I’d like to incorporate that image into my daily life and maintain an awareness of the importance of mindful living.