Talk:Japanese tea ceremony

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Former featured article candidate Japanese tea ceremony is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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May 14, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
May 24, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate
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Toucha (闘茶)[edit]

I think an entry on toucha/"tea tournament" might be interesting, but I'm not sure where to include it. Chris.n.richardson 10:45, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I have now included some brief discussion in the History section about this.Tksb (talk) 01:17, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

introductory image[edit]

The image seems hardly a good representation of the topic, Japanese tea ceremony; the place where the lady in kimono is sitting seiza to make tea in the most simple chanoyu fashion is quite unique, and it seems better to this writer not to present this as the introductory image for this article.Tksb (talk) 03:39, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

The hardly representative image of Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu) appears here and there in wikipedia articles about Japan. Since it is not representative of Japanese tea ceremony, I am taking the liberty of deleting it here.Tksb (talk) 11:14, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the image is hardly representable. Why do you think the place is unique? It's simply an image of nodate/野点 and I find nothing wrong with it.This is one of Nodate images at the urasenke official site. As there's no other good image, I don't agree the removal of the image. Oda Mari (talk) 15:10, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Nodate in the first place is not representative. The nodate (outdoors tea preparation) place where the lady sits obviously is at the foot of a building, where even nodate would hardly take place in any kind of representative nodate circumstance. This, therefore, is NOT a GOOD image; and, in my opinion, placing it up front as a sort of representative image does not do justice to this whole article. Also, from where this image comes is something that I do not know, but at the least, it does not come from the urasenke official site. Tksb (talk) 04:28, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

As a Japanese editor, I still think there's nothing wrong with the image. According to the urasenke pages, they call these are nodate too. See the image at the right bottom and the image at the bottom. And as far as I know, there is no rule about the place where you have and have not to do nodate. But if you still think the image is inappropriate, I think you should find and upload a substitute. There are many images of Japanese tea ceremony at Flickr and you can use some like [1], [2], and [3]. So choose an available image you think the best for the article there. Regards. Oda Mari (talk) 05:44, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

What we are looking for in an image placed at the head of an article, I believe, is something as least unique/strange as possible, so as to be a general representation of the theme of the article. The image that I took the liberty of removing shows a woman obviously sitting directly outside the "yukashita" (space underneath the floor) of some old temple or structure of the like (yes, describable as nodate, though certainly a queer place to sit and make tea), and using unique equipment. Sadly, none of the other suggested images are good, either. I am working on trying to procure a generally representative image that can be put up "for grabs" on the internet, and hopefully can come up with something soon. Meanwhile, until I can manage that, I have no intention of interferring if other experts believe tbat the deleted image is a "good image", or that it is better than nothing, and decide to put it up again.Tksb (talk) 14:33, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

If you really think it is better than nothing, please restore the image until you find a better image. Although I disagree with you, I won't restore it, respecting your good faith. What do you mean by yukashita in the image? If you mean the space under the veranda, I do not call or think the space as yukashita but call it ennoshita/縁の下. Yukashita is the space beyond the white wall. BTW, do you know there's a different version at Commons? [4] You can ask the uploader the information of the image. As for Flickr, it seems to me that there are some images we can use for tea-related articles like this. And how about this? Hope you find a better image soon. Oda Mari (talk) 07:16, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your good faith. The reason I deleted the image is because I did (do) not think it was (is) better than nothing. What I meant by "directly outside the yukashita" is the rim of area just outside the ennoshita (outer hallway/veranda) of the building which appears to be an old temple. The different version of the image which you pointed me to verifies the less-than-representative nature of the image. The artistic shot in the next image, sadly, is problematic as well, the chasen being crooked and no chakin being in sight, despite the explanation. Regards, Tksb (talk) 12:00, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

venue room size[edit]

To my knowledge, the smallest possible tea room is 1 tatami plus daime; one tatami required for the guest(s), and at least a daime required for the tea-making. Unless the statement about the smallest possible size being 1.5 tatami can be backed up, I believe this statement requires correction.Tksb (talk) 13:19, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Call it 1 3/4 mats then. I have, however, seen 1.5 mat setups with one mat for the host (with furo) and a half mat for one guest. Exploding Boy (talk) 16:12, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
I watched a TV program on Rikyu and HIdeyoshi today. According to the program, Rikyu used 1.5 mats room. I watched a 2 mats tea house on the program. But there was no mention on 1 mat. I don't think correction is needed. Oda Mari (talk) 16:04, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Changes to article[edit]

I'm explaining some of the changes I've made throughout the article here as a courtesy, since I know a couple of editors have worked a lot on the article since I first fully expanded it.

  • I've give the term "chanoyu" less prominence in general. Sadō/chadō are by far the more commonly used terms
  • I removed the claim that "rooms for teaching tea ceremony are generally at least six tatami in floor space." In my fairly long experience with tea in 3 different schools, the use of hiroma for lessons has been the very rare exception rather than the rule. Common sense dictates that, both in Japan and around the world, many teachers work out of their private homes, in which a 4.5 mat room is the standard. However, I have also taken regular classes in large tea houses containing several chashitsu, and 90% of the time we used only the 4.5 mat room. The only place I have studied where a hiroma was in consistent use for lessons was in a temple that didn't have a smaller room.
  • I've removed the claim that "If and when the venue for the event makes use of more than one room (space), it is not uncommon for one to be devoted to the preparation and drinking of koicha and the other(s) to usucha, and a tenshin snack to also be offered somewhere." I have never seen this happen or read about it, and it strikes me as fairly unlikely for several reasons. For one thing, if a nijiriguchi is in use (as it would be in any venue that had this many rooms available), the guests enter and exit via the same door each time. While in larger venues guests might be greeted and served a drink in a separate waiting room before the event begins, the entire subsequent event takes place in a single room, partly because part of the enjoyment of a chaji is seeing how the host has redecorated the room. For another thing, changing rooms like this would require setting charcoal and keeping it burning AND keeping water at the consistently correct temperature in 2 separate ro or furo, which is very, very unlikely.
  • Removed the unsourced claim that "Nowadays commonly only usucha is served in most of chakai."

Exploding Boy (talk) 16:54, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

  • A room at least 6 tatami in floor space is required for the shichijishiki teaching exercises as well as for a teacher to have any more than a small handful of students at a time, a situation that happens at a great many keikoba in Japan.
  • On the occasions of chakai involving many guests, it is not unusual and in fact is quite common for there to be a koicha-seki, one or more usucha-seki, and a tenshin-seki.

Tksb (talk) 09:58, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Regarding keiko, the word "generally" suggests that this is the most common arrangement; I don't think that's true. Particularly if a teacher is following the custom of having senior students teach less senior students, not all of them need to be in the tea room at the same time: some might be learning things in the mizuya while others are practicing guest duties and one student is performing a temae for the teacher, for instance. As for chakai involving many guests, that's potentially a different story, but I'd still like to see a reference. Exploding Boy (talk) 14:48, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Punctuation marks inside the Quotation marks[edit]

Regarding the edit[5] made by User:Exploding Boy, a discussion is being made hereWikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Related argument at Japanese tea ceremony. Please participate in the discussion there. ―― Phoenix7777 (talk) 22:25, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

As that discussion was fairly clear that the guideline is still indeed the guideline, I've restored the "logical" quotes. (talk) 02:44, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

"The" Japanese Tea Ceremony[edit]

Many English language sources do refer to "the" Japanese Tea Ceremony, yes, but that's not strictly accurate. Given that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of schools and hundreds of temae, there is no such thing as one monolithic or representative "Japanese tea ceremony."

To begin with, "tea ceremony" isn't really an accurate translation of cha/sa-dō. "The Way of Tea" is an appropriate translation, a "the" is appropriate as it describes a particular thing. The English phrase "Japanese tea ceremony" is really an all inclusive term that covers cha/sa-dō, chanoyu, temae, chaji and chakai, terms and concepts for which there are more accurate translations. As a general, rather than a specific, term, it is more accurate to call it "Japanese tea ceremony" rather than "The Japanese tea ceremony." Exploding Boy (talk) 22:06, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

As a matter of grammar, a definite or indefinite article (the or a) is necessary. One would not write, for example, "American Flag is the symbol of the United States" (one would begin the sentence with the), or, "Chair is a piece of furnature" (one would begin the sentence with a). In this instance, the sounds more appropriate, but a case could be made for a. Wikipedia's practice is to follow the sources in situation-specific usage questions of this kind. —Finell 23:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
The American flag is a specific thing, thus "the" is needed, while tea ceremony is a general thing, so no, an article isn't needed. "A" wouldn't be appropriate here unless "tea ceremony" was being used to mean a chakai or a chaji, which isn't what the Japanese tea ceremony article is about. I've also just realized that you altered the lead in such a way that it is less clear and less correct. It used to read:
Japanese tea ceremony, also called "the Way of Tea," is a multifarious cultural activity which centers on the ceremonial preparation and presentation of the powdered green tea known as matcha. In Japanese, it is called chanoyu (茶の湯) or chadō (茶道; also pronounced sadō?). The manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is known as temae (点前?). Zen Buddhism was integral to the development of tea ceremony, and this Zen influence pervades many aspects of it.
The last sentence was a little awkward, but now it reads:
The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, a Japanese cultural activity, is the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. In Japanese, it is called chanoyu (茶の湯) or chadō (茶道; also pronounced sadō?). The manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is called temae (点前?). Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the tea ceremony.
The important point which has been lost is that it is a multifarious activity, or really group of activities, not a single monolithic thing (like a chair, the American flag, or the London Underground), and the English term "Japanese tea ceremony" has various meanings relating to all or various of those activities.
I propose to rewrite the first paragraph as follows:
The Way of Tea (茶道, chadō or sadō), known in English as Japanese Tea Ceremony, is a multifarious cultural activity which centers on the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. "Tea ceremony" may refer to the aesthetic or discipline as a whole (sometimes known in Japanese as chanoyu (茶の湯), literally "hot water for tea"); a specific tea ritual or method of preparation (in Japanese 点前 temae); or a tea gathering (chakai (茶会) or chaji (茶事) in Japanese). Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the tea ceremony.
Exploding Boy (talk) 03:33, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Let's see what other editors of article have to say. "The" should not be boldface. It sounds odd to say that an English phrase "is known in English as" something else. Also, did you meant to eliminate the wikilinks? Multifarious is an excessively ornate word. Why is the proper in "the Way of Tea", but not in "the Japanese Tea Ceremony", if they mean the same thing? We use the most common English term for the title, and for the same reason that should be the first term mentioned in the first sentence of the lead. One article or the other is grammatically necessary (my second example was "chair"), and "the Japanese Tea Ceremony" is the most common English usage, in my experience. Do you have sources to the contrary? —Finell 06:41, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

This discussion brings our attention to the long-standing problems of the English reference to chanoyu (or chado) as "(the) Japanese tea ceremony." In my opinion, just because this is an article in the English Wikipedia, it needn't perpetrate the basically problematic English 'misnomer' which is the cause of much misconception and confusion about the multifarious tradition and activity. The word "chanoyu" has an entry in the unabridged Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language. Since "Japanese tea ceremony" is certainly the widespread English phrase used to refer to it, the English Wikipedia should have an article titled "Japanese tea ceremony", which, in my opinion, should direct to an article about this subject that is titled "Chanoyu". By making this change -- (which will surely cause repercussions elsewhere in the wikipedia links) -- and for the most part 'abandoning' the English misnomer thereafter, I feel that the English Wikipedia will serve well in bringing the reader to a better understanding of this realm of Japanese culture.Tksb (talk) 02:02, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Naming the article "Chanoyu" would not comply with Wikipedia's naming conventions, especially the injunction to use English|. However, if "Japanese tea ceremony" is a misnomer, the body of the article (not necessarily the lead section) should include an explanation from one or more published reliable sources. —Finell 02:31, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

How about the Dictionary of the English Language that I cite above; can not the fact that "chanoyu" has an entry there be taken to mean that "chanoyu" is an accepted word in the English language, much like countless other words that have been assimilated into the language, such as "kimono," "manga," "ikebana," ........?Tksb (talk) 08:34, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

No. It is not the term that most English speaking readers would use, which is the main guideline for naming articles. Again, it's fine to discuss the "correct" terminology in the body of the article, with citation to one or more reliable sources.—Finell 03:17, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
On the "Holy Roman Empire" scale of misnomers, "Japanese tea ceremony" seems pretty accurate, to this non-expert. (It's Japanese, involves tea, and has a ritualised quality to it.) Rather this is getting into "preferred terminology" territory. Sounds like you want to "lead" English usage on that, Tksb, whereas Wikipedia practice is very much to follow. There's already a link from chanoyu, and it's mentioned in the article. It's not a remotely feasible candidate for the main title, for the reasons Finell gives. It may be that you can make a case for a naming/terminology discussion, and/or promote that term to also being a bold alt-title. (My impression, though, is that its claim to be an "English word" is a little weak: if we were playing Scrabble, I'd certainly challenge. Rather, it's the sort of word that people will use in an English sentence, but either italicised, indicating a "foreign word", or else immediately followed by an explanation of what it means, similarly subverting its case for full-fledged word-dom. Smartiger (talk) 08:05, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, Smartiger, for your kind and astute input on the matter. I do understand, and though I feel it is a great pity that people, in my experience, have great misconceptions about chado which largely stem from its being called a/the "Japanese Tea Ceremony," I recognize the futility of abruptly trying to replace this long-standing English 'name' for it.Tksb (talk) 06:04, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


This is a great article on Japanese tea ceremony/chado but term 茶道 should have a choice or going the the Chinese tea culture article until a Chinese tea ceremony/chadao is created.

Added a choice from 茶道 The Way of Tea, to Japanese tea ceremony, Chinese tea ceremony. icetea (talk) 10:57, 26 August 2010 (UTC)


A suggestion for first sentence of article, is to add teaism reference.

Such as:

The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, or Teaism.....

icetea8 (talk) 13:27, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The meals[edit]

Would you be nice, Phoenix7777 and leave at least one picture about what kind of meals are served at the tea ceremony? Or find a picture you feel is alright. It is quite important I think that people know about that it is not only tea is consumded but a light meal is served also, and how this meal is served and how it looks like. Hafspajen (talk) 03:41, 15 January 2014 (UTC).

The image I removed are about matcha tea and wagashi. If you have knowledge about the Japanese tea ceremony, you would understand they are not Kaiseki meals. See Kaiseki and commons:Category:Kaiseki. Anyway the section's main article is Kaiseki and the section is a summary section, the gallery is not needed. ―― Phoenix7777 (talk) 04:23, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I think it is needed. Exactly because of the reasons I gave you above. It is quite important I think that people know about that it is not only tea is consumded but a light meal is served also, and how this meal is served and how it looks like. I was asking you to please present any meal that you know for sure is kaseki to all us who don't know the difference but want to... know-.
We are not helped by two empty bowls. I definitely think that a meal should be depicted in THIS article. This is one of the books week part - they just talk and talk about everything else but the meal. But then they probably think that if anybody is interested they should go and by a separate book on the topic. If you are not interested to add I will take some picture, not from the gallery here, because as you say, those pics are not reliable, but from the article. Face-smile.svgHafspajen (talk) 04:26, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Demographics and gender roles, formerly and now[edit]

I think the article would be improved by more information, or perhaps a section, on the demographics of the tea ceremony. In traditional practice, were the host and guest roles traditionally performed by men, by women, or in mixed groups? If the latter, were there more or less subtle differences in the way men and women performed or spoke in these roles, perhaps paralleling the Gender differences in spoken Japanese. Were the participants usually unrelated, or could they be members of the same nuclear or extended family? Did children ever participate in the tea ceremony, and if so how were they expected to behave? How have these things changed in recent decades, with growing expectations of social equality between men and women, and growing inclusion of children in family activities? Was the tea ceremony traditionally limited to privileged or aristocratic adults, or were variations of it practiced by all socioeconomic strata? How has the tea ceremony practice changed in response to modern aspirations toward equality, or at least equal rights, of all members of society?CharlesHBennett (talk) 06:55, 25 April 2016 (UTC)