My Tea Break

Rediscovering Tea around the world

Japanese Tea Houses

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The art of drinking Tea was first introduced to Japan in the 9th century. Tea was brought over to Japan by monks who studied in China. Over the centuries, Tea drinking became ingrained in the Japanese culture.

The most well-known historical figure in Japanese Tea ceremony is Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591).  He was the first to emphasize key aspects of the Japanese Tea ceremony  such as the principles of harmony, respect, purity, tranquility which are still central to today’s Tea ceremony practice.

Traditional Tea House in Japan

The place in which the Tea ceremony happens, the teahouse, also helps to elicit these principles from guests. This structure and specifically the room in it where the Tea ceremony takes place is called chashitsu. The architectural space called chashitsu was created for aesthetic and intellectual fulfillment. They are usually small and simple wooden structures located in remote and quiet areas.

Environmental Graffiti listed five modern Tea houses, which includes an inflatable igloo, a tea house on stilts, a cube, a round house and an eco-friendly bamboo hut.

1. Kengo Kuma’s inflatable Teahouse is located in the garden of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt.

2. Terunobu Fujimori’s  Teahouse on Stilts  sitting high up amongst the tree tops on crooked stilts and Located in Chino, Nagano Prefecture. To get up there, guests must climb a ladder leaning against one of two chestnut tree trunks, remembering to take off their shoes half-way up.

3. Toshihiko Suzuki’s Souan Teahouse is made from aluminum on the exterior, with circular cutouts to allow natural light to enter the room, while rice-papered walls on the inside evoke a sense of calm. This Tea house is located in the architect’s atelier in Yamagata Prefecture.

4.  This Round Tea House built from oak and burnt larch wood in Prague, Czech Republic, was created through a collaboration between David Maštálka from A1 Architects and sculptor Vojtech Bilisic. The round house leads guests to gather around the hearth where the tea is being made.

5. Naomi Darling created this lovely Eco-friendly Teahouse in the woods of Stoney Creek, Conneticut, which features local and recycled materials.

I am already planning the future “Mariana & Tania” Tea House. 🙂

Happy Tea Break.

Tania

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2 thoughts on “Japanese Tea Houses

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