September 08, 2008

Yobanashi tea ceremony

 Last week I went to my regular Japanese tea ceremony lesson after work. By the time i reached my teacher`s place, the sun was already setting. One of the students who was there offered to make me some Koicha thick tea to get me into the mood of the tea ceremony after a hard day`s work. My tea ceremony teacher asked if I thought it was necessary to turn the light on but I felt quite relaxed in the darkness of the tea room. When the tea utensils were being brought into the room, we noticed it was actually too dark to prepare a bowl of tea. My tea teacher rushed to get a small light to place near the Temae-za. Just this small light next to the Tana created such a wonderful atmosphere. I felt the taste of the Koicha became much more intense since I couldn't see what was in the Chawan. I realized that this was actually the first time that I had done a Japanese tea ceremony at night.
 Next, it was my turn to make Usucha for the other students. I wanted to saviour this wonderful opportunity and please my guests as much as i could. I provided everyone with a Zabuton and two different kinds of sweets, Wagashi and Omogashi. I performed the tea ceremony with total devotion to my movements and a perfect balance of Matcha and Oyu (hot water). All complimented me afterwards on my style and the great taste of the tea. It seemed everyone including me was pleased.
 So, Yobanashi is a variety of the Japanese tea ceremony which is usually held in winter when the sun starts setting very early and the tea ceremony can be enjoyed with a small candle light to create a warm atmosphere in the cold winter months.

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