Japan's World-Class Traditional Culture: Embrace Tea Ceremonies with Our Samue
Introducing Casual Tea Ceremonies with Samue
I'd like to introduce one of the most famous aspects of Japanese culture, the tea ceremony. Even though some of you may feel that you must wear a kimono at the tea ceremony, therefore may think that attending the tea ceremony comes with a high barrier to entry, you can have delicious green tea and sweets in a tiny little room more casually by wearing a samue and feeling a sense of sophistication and harmony of the tea ceremony. Also, since there is a new style called “Ryurei,” which uses tables and chairs for seating, guests can enjoy the tea without worrying about their feet hurting. Our customers actually practice and/or attend these Ryusei-style tea ceremonies by wearing our samue. We believe that samue helps you have great experiences of tea ceremonies more casually and discover the beauty of it.
The Japanese Way of Life and Its Art
The Japanese tea ceremony perfectly represents the Japanese way of life and the heart of hospitality. Also, according to Okakura Kakuzo, the author of “The Book of Tea”, referred to, the tea ceremony is a comprehensive Japanese art because it relates to traditional Japanese architecture, beautiful flower arrangements, serene landscaping, delicate ceramics, and the elegance of kimono.
"The philosophy of Tea is not mere aestheticism in the ordinary acceptance of the term, for it expresses conjointly with ethic and religion our whole point of view about man and nature."
*Refer as it is in "The Book of Tea" : Okakura Kakuzo
Beginning of the Tea Ceremony
To preface this, in the Nara and Heian periods (710-794,794-1185), tea was first brought to Japan by monks who went to China to study Buddhism and to deepen their cultural manners.
During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), a monk named Eisai brought tea from China and it spread to the general population.
In the Muromachi period (1336-1573), Murata Jyuko, a monk of the Jodo sect, introduced spirituality, which led to the use of simple tea rooms and tea tools, and the establishment of "Wabicha," which emphasizes the interaction between the host and the guest.
Sen no Rikyu, a tea master, developed the Wabicha style. He was deeply particular about the construction of the tea room and tea tools, and established the modern tea ceremony.
Fundamental Ideas of Tea Ceremony
Sen no Rikyu was active from the Warring States period (1467-1615) to the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600) and was considered to be a person who perfected the Japanese tea ceremony, expanded the idea of “wabi” to not only include tea ceremony tools but also to the style of the ceremony itself and its mannerisms. He stated 7 fundamental ideas that refer to Rikyu’s rules.
- Make a good tea for your guests (Prepare the tea specifically for those who drink it.)
- Hot charcoal should be arranged so the water will boil well (Prepare the charcoal to heat the water with care.)
- Cool in summer, warm in winter (Being aware of the seasons and making sure the experience flows with nature.)
- Arrange flowers as they are in a field (As nature intends, respecting life as it is.)
- Do everything with time to spare (Make sure to have enough time to prepare.)
- Prepare an umbrella even if it isn’t going to rain (Be prepared, calm, and ready for anything that may happen.)
- Respect all guests (To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time.)
Also, the tea ceremony is carried out based on the four most important elements; harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. In Japanese, it is called “Wa Kei Sei Jyaku”.
“Wa” means opening up to each other and getting along with each other.
“Kei” means showing respect to each other.
“Sei” means purifying your surroundings as well as your spirit.
“Jyaku” means maintaining a calm spirit.
In its long history, there are now more than 500 schools of tea ceremony. Among them, three of the best-known schools are Omote Senke, Ura Senke, and Mushanokoji Senke.
Omote Senke is a school that is more conservative and characterized by its faithful adherence to ancient manners.
Ura Senke is a school characterized by its willingness to adopt the trends of the times.
Mushakouji Senke is a school characterized by its lean, streamlined style.
Casual Tea Ceremonies
After you have been sitting in “Seiza” for a while, your feet will start to go “Ouch!!” Yes, the great experience comes with the great pain… just like you say, “with great power comes great responsibility“.
So, in 1872, Ryurei which uses tables and chairs was established by Gengensai Seichu, the 11th master of Ura Senke (1810-1877). This style was created for foreign guests who were not familiar with “Seiza” and had trouble with it. It clearly shows Japanese hospitality in welcoming guests and the school's characteristic of flexibility in responding to the demands of the times during the period of change from the Edo period (1603-1868) to the Meiji period (1868-1912). Later, the Ryurei-style of tea ceremony became accepted by all Sansenke and other schools. Today, people of all ages, from young children to the elderly, can enjoy the tea ceremony without being bothered by foot pain.
With all those ideas in mind, a tea ceremony is not just sipping green tea. It’s all about how to respect others and harmonize with your surroundings. This represents our cultural background and we hope you will think about the feeling of it more casually.
The Dress Code
The basic dress code for the tea ceremony, especially in Omote Senke, is a kimono, but most schools allow their guests to wear casual clothing. As long as you choose a nice, clean garment and wear white socks to show respect to the host, any clothing is appropriate. However, you should not wear any kind of accessories and should not have long nails, because they may scratch the tea bowls. We can say that the samue can be suitable for "casually enjoying a tea ceremony" because it does not disrupt the atmosphere of the tea room, can be worn more easily than a kimono, and samue are garments that allow you to move with ease and feel relaxed.
Recommended Samue for a Casual Tea Ceremony
This Tate Slub Samue is one of our best-selling items. By using "slub yarn", the texture is rustic and soft, creating a vintage look, and making you feel calm when wearing it.
Also, since this samue is made of thin and soft cotton, you can wear it all year round.
The lattice-like splash pattern made with threads of random thickness gives it a rustic appeal. In Japan, such a splash pattern is called the "Kasuri(絣)" pattern and this sparsely thick thread(Pongee) is called the "Tsumugi(紬)" thread. That's why this was named "Kasuri Tsumugi" Samue.
You can choose your favorite from our 17 color selections. We also offer you various sizes from SS to LL.
This samue is made of a multifunctional material that has a rich, hand-woven look of linen and a smooth, dry texture. It is resistant to wrinkles and fluff.
Made of 100% polyester, it is also easy to wear and take care of.
We created this new type of samue in response to many requests from temples for a loose-fitting samue with a wide pant leg. The simple twill fabric is characterized by its soft texture, excellent elasticity, and resistance to wrinkling.
It is also easy to care for because it is made of 100% polyester, and has many points of functionality, making it the perfect samue for work.
"Twill weave" is a weaving method, which does not wrinkle easily even though it is made of cotton while being softer and more pliable than plain-weave textiles.
This samue is available in 11 elegant and varied colors in unisex sizes and you can feel the atmosphere of Japan with high-quality Samue carefully made by Japanese artisans.
Our samue are unisex, suitable for anyone who wants to experience the charm of traditional Japanese garments.
When you have a chance to join a tea ceremony, please relax and enjoy it by wearing our samue! We hope you can feel the Japanese atmosphere and the sense of our way of life. Have an unforgettable experience!