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How tea came to Japan


There are two theory of how tea tree came to Japan. One is from China , and another possibility is trees were wildly grown in Japan from the ancient times. We don' t have any evidence to prove that tea had grown wildly in Japan before it was introduced from China. However, the route and path of tea from China are defined as following: (Senjicha) During the Nara period, many scholarly monks were sent to China to study Buddhism. They were called "Kenzuishi". As they are coming back to Japan, many of them brought tea as souvenir. It is famous story that one of Kenzuishi "Eichu" tribute tea to the Emperor. Many of Kenzuishi were studying Buddhism in "Wodaishan" . How they traveled to Wodaishan was from Kyushu to west of Korean, then Korea to Shandong peninsula. (Matcha) The fundamental of Japanese green tea today is based on Macha and its way of process. Matcha was widely drank during certain period of the Song dynasty. After steaming the tea leaves they were dried and grinned in fine powder. Matcha was brought by "Eizai" , the famous Buddhist priest who went to Song to study Buddhism. (Sencha) During the Ming dynasty, new process of making green tea became popular. Tea leaves were roasted after picking, then rubbed carefully. This type of green tea was introduced by Chinese Buddhist priest, Ingen, and started drank widely in Japan.

(Satoru Matsushita)