I opened my tea room Joukeian in Kyoto, so that others could experience the world of tea that has touched my life deeply.
I want to invite you to into this world of tea. I have been learning the way of tea since my childhood, being taught by my mother and other accomplished teachers.
There are many manners or rules. At first, I just memorized each procedure, but gradually I could begin to see a certain spiritual meaning and a special sense of beauty within those forms.
Ten years ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to introduce tea ceremony to students who were studying ceramics in Switzerland. They learned eagerly even if only for a short time.
We shared the spirit of mutual cooperation through a bowl of tea. From this time, I started to notice the interest and respect that many non-Japanese had for Japanese traditional arts.
Although the tea ceremony has many rules, it is important that beginners relax and enjoy themselves. There are only a few things to remember, the most important being the expression of thanks and respect for the host and other guests.
Everyone enjoys the aspects of the ceremony, which the host has carefully prepared, such as the tea room, tea garden, flower arrangement, tea utensils, tea, sweet and meal.
The tea is a little bitter, but it has a deep flavor and aroma.
The sweet is colorful, pretty and reflects seasonal events. The taste of the sweet complements the bitterness of the tea.
In addition, one can observe the careful preparation of charcoal in the hearth.
The shape of every piece and its placement is prescribed by tradition.
Come evening, one can enjoy tea in a private romantic world by candlelight.
I realized that Japanese traditional culture would be impressive to many people from around the world even though we come from different cultures.
Please come and experience the way of tea, an art which we have inherited from our ancestors, with your five senses. I hope that participating in tea ceremony will be a special shared experience with people close to you, whether it is an anniversary, a celebration or a farewell, or simply a shared time together.
I sincerely hope that you will be able to touch the heart of tea and that your visit here will stay with you as a memorable experience.
JOUKEIAN host < Matsumoto Soko >