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History of Sencha-do

Japanese Sado (tea ceremony) is based on the tea ceremonial style of the Sung dynasty of old China. Japanese added Zen philosophy into their way of tea. In the 15th century, the first Kamairicha (roasted green tea)was introduced by Ming (China) people. In the 17th century, Chinese Buddhist priest Ingen (1592-1673) from China came to Japan, and introduced the Chinese culture including the way of serving and drinking tea using the tea sets. In the 18th century, "Kouyugai" and "Shibayama gensho" started to sell sencha widely in Kyoto and became famous as "Baisaou". They were against the tendency of Chanoyu which was becoming the place to show the power with collective and expensive teas sets. Their ideal model were Rikuu or Rodou who were the famous tea masters of the Tang dynasty in China. Their humble and clean style of Tea was widely accepted by the intellectuals in Japan who deeply admire the Chinese art and literature with pure heart. Such as well known artist, Taiga Ike (1723-1776), trader in Osaka, Kenkadou Kimura (1736-1802), the writer who wrote "Ugetsu Monogatari", Akinari Ueda(1734-1809) are the people who were hooked with this humble style of way of Tea. The popularity of Sencha-do among intellectuals was continued to grow until the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate. During that time, Chikuden Tanomura (1777-1835) and Rai Sanyo (1780-1802) were also deeply attracted with Sencha-do. Sencha-do quickly became popular among the people in the city, and Iemoto system for Sencha-do was also established around this time. Kakuou Tanaka (1782-18489) and Kashin Ogawa (1786-1855)were the founder of Sencha-do Iemonto.

(Nobuyoshi Mochizuki)