The Way of Tea
Sen no Rikyū (1522-1591) is the most well-known figure in the realms of Japanese Tea Ceremony. He is recognised as the person who established wabi-cha, the simple tea ceremony so widely performed today.
His teachings perfected many newly developed forms in architecture and gardens, art, and the full development of the "way of tea" using the philosophy of ichi go ichi e which exemplified the idea of cherishing every moment as if it will never occur again.
Rikyū’s concept of the tea ceremony was so simple that from it other tea ceremony schools were able to emerge.
Chinshin-Ryu - The Samurai Way of Tea
For samurai warriors, it was vital to acquire strength, both physical and mental, to face various adversaries including death. Starting off as rough-edged and uncultured, warriors felt the need to become more culturally sophisticated as their social status became raised and they began replacing kuge court members as the most powerful rulers.
Tea ceremony culture, having Zen Buddhism as its spiritual base, was most suited as the tool of day-to-day self discipline and as a source of enjoyment.
Matsuura Chinshin (1613-1703) the 29th head of the Matsura clan was the Daimyo feudal lord who presided over the Hizen Hirado fief, headquartered at what is now Hirado city in Nagasaki Prefecture. He became interested in tea ceremony at an early age and developed into a major tea ceremony figure.
Chinshin saw tea ceremony culture as a graceful pastime which helps a samurai to discipline himself culturally and at the same time martially. His tea ceremony aim was to nurture a kind of spiritual strength that a samurai was expected to possess so that he could face any situation with calmness.
After the Meiji Restoration, the then head of the family, Matsuura Shingetsu strived to keep tea ceremony tradition alive in face of the onslaught of western cultures.
It was also he who encouraged ladies to take up tea ceremony, which formerly was the men's activity. Shingetsu laid the foundation for present-day Chinshin-ryu.