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  • Writer's pictureEfthimios Sifounios

Raku Japanese Tea Cups

The Japanese Raku tea ceremony is a traditional tea ceremony that originated in Japan during the 16th century. It is characterized by the use of Raku tea bowls, which are hand-crafted and fired at low temperatures to create unique and irregular patterns. The ceremony is performed in a simple, rustic setting and emphasizes the beauty of the natural world and the importance of humility, simplicity, and mindfulness. The tea served is usually green tea, and the ceremony is often accompanied by traditional Japanese sweets. The Raku tea ceremony is considered to be one of the most authentic and traditional forms of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Raku Japanese Cups
Raku Cups

In Raku tea ceremony, the tea bowls and other utensils used are often handmade by potters who specialize in Raku ware. These bowls are typically made from a type of clay that is high in iron, which gives them a distinctive dark color and rough texture. The bowls are also often decorated with simple designs and patterns, such as geometric shapes or natural motifs.

The tea that is served in Raku tea ceremony is typically a type of powdered green tea called matcha. The tea is prepared by whisking the powder with hot water in a small bowl. The host will then offer the tea to each guest, who will take a sip and appreciate the taste and aroma of the tea, as well as the beauty of the bowl. The atmosphere of the Raku tea ceremony is typically very relaxed and informal, with the guests and host sitting on tatami mat and the host explaining the utensils and the tea. The guests are encouraged to take their time and savor the tea, and to engage in conversation and contemplation. The goal of the ceremony is to create a sense of harmony and balance between the guests, the host, and the natural materials used in the ceremony.

In modern times, Raku tea ceremony has become a way to experience traditional Japanese culture and to connect with the natural world. It is often held at tea houses or other venues that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the Raku tradition. Some schools also teach Raku tea ceremony, and it is possible to become a certified Raku tea ceremony host.

In addition to the tea and tea bowls, other utensils used in Raku tea ceremony include a tea scoop, a tea whisk, and a tea container. The tea scoop is used to measure out the matcha powder, the tea whisk is used to mix the powder with hot water, and the tea container is used to hold the prepared tea. These utensils are also typically handmade and decorated in a similar style to the tea bowls. The host of a Raku tea ceremony is often considered a master of the art, and has typically undergone extensive training in the traditional practices and protocols of the ceremony. The host is responsible for preparing and serving the tea, as well as maintaining the harmony and balance of the ceremony.

Raku tea ceremony is a way to appreciate the beauty of simplicity and nature. The host and the guests all come together in a small and rustic tea room and share a moment of peace and tranquility. The ceremony is also a way to appreciate the art and craftsmanship of traditional Japanese pottery and the tea preparation. The ceremony is also a way to connect with the Japanese culture and tradition. It is not only a traditional Japanese ceremony, but also a way to connect with nature, with art, and with people. It is a way to experience the beauty of simplicity and to appreciate the present moment. Raku tea ceremony is an art form that has been passed down through the generations and continues to be enjoyed and practiced today.


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