The Return to One
Yame Tea Tour
The Yame Region in Fukuoka Prefecture is blessed with ideal conditions for cultivating fine quality tea. In summer, fireflies flicker in the clear streams near the tea plantations, creating a picture-perfect landscape.
The ideal space for iyashi.
Sado - The Way of Tea
Iyashi Herbs' Tea Ceremony Journal
Finding a Teacher
Getting into the ritual
The Seiza Challenge and Ryuurei Style
Ichi go Ichi e
Tea Ceremony Utensils
Thick Tea vs Thin Tea
Otsukimi - Moon-Viewing
During the Harvest moon in October, Japanese Tea Ceremony is typically performed while viewing the Autumn Full Moon. That is the premise of the Otsukimi which literally translates to mean Moon Viewing.
The tradition includes decorations with rice dumplings called dango and stalks of grass along with imagery of a rabbit.
Why a rabbit you ask?
Well , have you ever heard the story of the rabbit in the moon (tsuki no usagi)?
🎑 In Japan, instead of seeing a man on the moon it is said that there is a rabbit pounding mochi/ rice with a mortar and pestle. The story goes:
"Many years ago, the Old Man of the Moon decided to visit the Earth. He disguised himself as a beggar and asked Fox (Kitsune), Monkey (Saru), and Rabbit (Usagi) for some food.
Monkey climbed a tree and brought him some fruit. Fox went to a stream, caught a fish, and brought it back to him. But Rabbit had nothing to offer him but some grass. So he asked the beggar to build a fire. After the beggar started the fire, Rabbit jumped into it and offered himself as a meal for the beggar to eat.
Quickly the beggar changed back into the Old Man of the Moon and pulled Rabbit from the fire. He said "You are most kind, Rabbit, but don't do anything to harm yourself. Since you were the kindest of all to me, I'll take you back to the moon to live with me." The Old Man carried Rabbit in his arms back to the moon and he is still there to this very day exactly where the Old Man left him. Just look at the moon in the night sky and the rabbit is there."
In October 2017 we attended two Otsukimi; one at the Cultural Centre and another at a Buddhist temple.
The Cultural Centre Ceremony was more of an exhibition while the Tea Ceremony at the Buddhist Temple was a bit more formal and included both thin and thick tea as well as a meal.
Both experiences were extremely enriching.
Nagasaki Tea Festival
The Nagasaki Tea Festival was held on November 11th and 12th in Sasebo City this year so we took the opportunity to go explore and learn more about tea in Nagasaki, Japan.
Bulk Green Tea
The drum used to mix/ dry the tea leaves.