Monday, September 24, 2012

If Rikyu invited you. 1

If Rikyu invited you to a tea ceremony today, how would he treat you?   What do you think?   Can you imagine him using modern technologies such as email, an electric kettle and the air conditioner?  How would his contemporary tea room and utensils look like?  It is so interesting to give a thought about it.

I bought a book entitled “Moshimo Rikyu-ga Anata-wo Maneitara” or “If Rikyu invited you”.   I was a bit disappointed that the content and the title are not so related.  I could not get a clear picture of the question of the title.  The book mostly talks about the thoughts about The Way of Tea of the author.  He is Sen So-oku, a young tea master of Mushakoji family.  Even though my expectations were not specifically met here, I was surprised to realize that I like how Mr. Sen So-oku laid out his approach to this precious tea ceremony of ours.  I find some of his thoughts quite agreeable and favorable. 

I prefer Mr. Sen So-oku's concept of likening the tea room to a secret hideaway in a metropolitan city - snob, classy restaurant or for exclusive member's bar.   He emphasizes that The Way of Tea should be a little of extraordinary activity in our daily lives.  However, just as everything and everyone else in this world has evolved, the traditional way of tea has become very special.  We don’t wear kimono or use charcoals to boil water anymore.  The way of living nowadays does not always include rooms that have tatami and tokonoma in it.  He teaches we need to practice The Way of Tea in two perspectives.  One is the traditional way and the other one would not be conventional, instead suited for the current modernized methods of tea preparation.  I have vaguely felt a little oddness for the distance between the traditional way of tea and our modern way of living.  We should go for the way of tea which fits to our lifestyle. 

I will discuss about this farther in the next post.

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