What was the most inspiring part of the tea ceremony?
Watching the intricacies of the tea ceremony process was inspiring. It was interesting to see how each small detail was carefully planned out in order to form the ceremony.
How did you experience Japanese culture during the participation of the tea ceremony?
Hearing about the history and traditions in Japan was helpful in picturing a more realistic situation. The images and spatial description of the tea house helped me put myself in the shoes of Japanese people and their culture.
Were some parts of the ceremony familiar to your own cultural background or quite different? Explain.
My cultural background doesn’t really have any specific traditional ceremonies, especially any with food or drink as the focal point. This experience was quite unlike anything I had experienced before. The only similar experience was a field trip I attended many years ago where I learned a bit about Japanese culture, focusing on the kimono.
Describe the atmosphere you experienced during the preparation of the tea and the sharing of the tea.
While the tea was prepared, I enjoyed the anticipation. I liked the process of the matcha being made and was excited when given the small candy to eat before. As the tea was distributed, I enjoyed watching everyone’s reactions. I enjoyed the variety in the bowls as well. Personally, I loved the matcha. It was a very rich taste, though I had matcha before.
Which elements do you think contributed to the atmosphere in the room during the ceremony?
The garment (kimono) that was worn added to the environment. I also think the arrangement of the tables had us all participating or focusing on the process.
Do you think the manner in which Souheki prepares and offers the tea can be considered a form of art? Why or why not?
I think the preparation is definitely a form of art. The process is very organized, planned, and has a certain flow to it. The offering of the tea is also very intimate, creating a bond between Souheki and the guests.