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The Japanese Influence

九年级英语备课资料

The Japanese Influence

The first tea seeds were brought to Japan by the returning Buddhist(佛教的) priest Yeisei, who had seen the value of tea in China in

enhancing religious mediation. As a result, he is known as the "Father of Tea" in Japan. Because of this early association, tea in Japan has always been associated with Zen Buddhism. Tea received almost instant imperial sponsorship and spread rapidly from the royal court and monasteries to the other sections of Japanese society.

Tea was elevated to an art form resulting in the creation of the Japanese Tea Ceremony ("Cha-no-yu" or "the hot water for tea"). The best description of this complex art form was probably written by the Irish-Greek journalist-historian Lafcadio Hearn, one of the few

foreigners ever to be granted Japanese citizenship during this era. He wrote from personal observation, "The Tea ceremony requires years of training and practice to graduate in art...yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible". Such a purity of form, of expression prompted the creation of supportive arts and services. A special form of architecture (chaseki) developed for "tea houses", based on the duplication of the simplicity of a forest cottage. The cultural/artistic hostesses of Japan, the Geishi, began to specialize in the presentation of the tea ceremony. As more and more people became involved in the excitement surrounding tea, the purity of the original Zen concept was lost. The tea ceremony became corrupted,

boisterous and highly embellished. "Tea Tournaments" were held among the wealthy where nobles competed among each other for rich prizes in naming various tea blends. Rewarding winners with gifts of silk, armor, and jewelry was totally alien to the original Zen attitude of the ceremony. Three great Zen[(佛教)禅宗] priests restored tea to its original place in Japanese society:

Ikkyu (1394-1481)-a prince who became a priest and was successful in guiding the nobles away from their corruption(腐败,贪污,堕落) of the tea ceremony.

Murata Shuko (1422-1502)-the student of Ikkyu and very influential in

The Japanese Influence

The Japanese Influence

re-introducing the Tea ceremony into Japanese society.

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