By Professor Solomon
The unknown Japan. the conventional Japan. the true Japan. In this erudite but unique paintings, Professor Solomon explores a Japan of which few folks are acutely aware. For a travel of a special culture--a interesting examine its varied methods and wonders--join him.
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And with her dying breath she reminded him of his promise. So Kamatari took the infant home and raised him as a son. The boy became a samurai, and eventually succeeded to Kamatari’s official position. In his mother’s reminiscence he equipped a shrine at the spot where she had crawled from the sea. That shrine—known as the Shidoji—still stands. Pilgrims come to honor the shellgatherer and her sacrifice. And the Buddha Crystal? That stone with its image of peace? Its whereabouts are unknown. http://www. professorsolomon. com 34 Tea Ceremony 1 “Tea gives one vigor of body, contentment of mind, and determination of purpose,” said the legendary Shen Nung, Fire Emperor of China. His subjects agreed with him; and over the centuries the beverage came into wide use in the Middle Kingdom—as a medicinal tonic and sociable bev erage. Poets referred to it as “liquid jade”; and one of them enthused: “When I drink tea, I am conscious of peace. The cool breath of Heaven rises in my sleeves, and blows my cares away. ” As Buddhism, fine arts, and other achievements of Chi nese civilization traveled to Japan, tea accompanied them. A major impetus to its use came from Eisai, the monk who brought Zen Buddhism to the land. He additionally introduced from China some choice tea plants, which he cultivated at his monastery. The monks drank the tea at their shrine to Bodhidharma, as part of a ritual. * Eisai wrote a treatise on tea, in which he praised it as “the divine remedy and supreme gift of Heaven for preserving human life. ” This claim was brought to the attention of the Shogun, who had fallen ill. He summoned Eisai and com manded him to administer his remedy. Fortunately for the monk, the Shogun recovered. And as observe unfold of its medicinal (and stimulative) effect, tea used to be on its approach to becoming the national beverage of Japan. 2 between its first devotees have been samurai warriors, who held lavish teatasting parties. Large amounts of sake were also consumed (prompting such riotous behavior that the events were eventually banned); and any tonic effect of the tea must have been offset by the toxicity of the alcohol. But the parties did serve to establish tea as a sociable bev erage. round the similar time, a specified rite got here into vogue in the castles of warlords. Inspired by the tea ritual of the monks, it involved the sharing of a bowl of tea by the warlord and important visitors. This formal event—a prestige image for the powerful—was held in a richly appointed chamber, with costly utensils. But the Tea Cere mony came to be modified in an important way. The man who modified it—and who is considered the patron saint of the Tea Ceremony—was Sen no Rikyu, tea grasp to Hideyoshi. * Hideyoshi was drawn to the Tea Ceremony for its osten tatious display of wealth and the intimidating pomp of its ritual; and he gave Rikyu (his close advisor as well as tea master) a free hand in conducting and perfecting it. An aes thete of the first order, Rikyu took the Tea Ceremony and remodeled it into something wholly new in spirit.