2003 Event


Japanese Tea Ceremony

25 June 2003

Ambassador Koichi Haraguchi, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, hosted a Japanese Tea Ceremony in the United Nations Garden on 25 June 2003. Invited guests, including the Permanent Representatives of various countries and several Under-Secretaries-General of the United Nations, received an introduction to chado, the Japanese way of tea, from tea master Hisashi Yamada of the Urasenke Chanoyu Center as they enjoyed a traditional sweet followed by a bowl of thick tea.

The tradition of chado descends from the 15th century, when Zen master Murata Juko (1422-1502) first broke with the aristocratic conventions of the ceremony and served tea in an intimate, four-and-a-half tatami mat room. The spiritual aesthetic of the ceremony was further developed by tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), who emphasized wabi (desolation, poverty, simplicity) in his tea ceremonies in order to call attention to the spiritual wealth within the participants. As master Yamada pointed out in his introduction, the word chado itself can be translated not only as "the way of tea" but also "the way of life".

Today, chado continues to be studied and followed by millions of Japanese. For more information on chado and other Japanese traditional arts, please consult The Virtual Museum of Japanese Arts.