a quiz show on TV and the speaker
was asking to the guests, " "Seitoury",
"Soukairyu", "Houmeiryu" are the
names of the schools to teach one
of traditions of Japan. Now, what
those school teach? How to make
: A. Tea, B. Zabuton (Japanese cushion),
C. Bamboo crafts, D. Senbei (Japanese
cracker) The correct answer was
a "A" "how to process tea". Nobody
picked the right answer, because
many people don't expect that there
is a school to teach processing
the tea. Shizuoka prefecture
is now well known for the one of
the high producing green tea area.
However, in Edo era and in Meiji
era, Shizuoka was behind on tea
processing technique compare to
Uji, Oumi(Shiga prefecture), Ise(Mie
prefecture). Farmers in Shizuoka
invited the specialists and learned
the techniques from them. Those
specialists were called "Chashi"
in Shizuoka. Needless to say,
processing tea at those time was
all done by hands. First, steam
the tea leaves, and then roast the
leaves on the Japanese paper for
more than 2 and half hours. Tea
was evaluated by its looking, taste,
smell, and the color after the extracting;
therefore, "Chashi" put a lots of
effort on processing perfect tea.
All the tea leaves are different
depends on where they come from
or under what kind of conditions
the tea leaves were grown , so chashi
needed to have an experience and
deep knowledge about tea. It was
very important to process tea beautifully.
There was a competition for those
hands processing for those specialists.
And selected specialists started
to teach own techniques to the pupils.
The specialists who had many pupils
to became specialists received kind
of certificate of opening the school.
End of the Meiji era, the form of
Shizuoka style tea processing had
finally completed. Those techniques
are still practiced by people, and
is a fundamental principle of the
today's tea processing method in