Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If Rikyu invited you. 2

Rikyu contributed a significant influence on the latest fashion of the tea ceremony during his time.  He is more concerned about the comfort for the guests and the essence of having pleasure with the tea.  For these reasons, if Rikyu would be performing his tea ceremony these days, I think he would embrace the usage of modern technologies and way of living, but still, imposing his own masterpiece tea the unique way he is famous for.   He might even use Facebook, air-conditioners, and chairs.  What would you expect on Rikyu’s contemporary tea ceremony?

Speaking of creating the latest fashion, the other day on TV, I saw a creative chef using iPad as a plate for dish.  He placed sea food on the iPad covered with a clear plate.  A video footage of the seashore was continually played on the iPad.  So, this ravishing cuisine, seashells and fish looked like flowing on the sea.  Delightful!  It looked fresh and lively.  I think this amusing way of serving food stimulates our imagination.  When I saw it, I thought that Rikyu, who has created new standards, might have tried this kind of approach on his tea if he lived today.

Meanwhile, there's a tingling little doubt that maybe he will not.  He may not favor that kind of sophisticated approach. He quested for simplicity in his tea, and attached a high value to the spiritual aspect by eliminating unnecessary things from the tea room.  I’m not so confident about this matter but I am kind of leaning on the latter opinion, Rikyu’s.  I think that he may use the air-conditioners, but not the video footage.  What do you think?


  1. I think you're right. The comfort is a important part. For example, many people can't stand seiza and, if there is pain, it's impossible to take pleasure in tea. Undoubtedly, the technologies has made our live easier. However, I don't know if it's possible to get the same solemnity and beauty or "wabi sabi" through a computer, electric kettle or a comfortable chair. I think like you, Rikyu would embrace the usage of modern technologies but he would respect the tradition too. But I guess he would never ever use an Ipad xD.

    Congratulations on your web and forgive my English ;)

    1. I agree. To experience Wabi tea, we might not need the modern technologies. The simplest utensils will be enough.