Sencha, Uji, Japan, Toganoo Fukase

in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
Say what you say?

This thread is about Japanese Green tea in particular Sencha.

It was by High Priest, Myoe of Kozanji-temple at Toganoo, Kyoto, that tea was first cultivated in Uji. He planted the seeds brought back from China by his Zen master Eisai at the place called Toganoo Fukase. When the seedlings grown from the seeds were ready to be transplanted, he chose Uji as a model region to grow them into tea trees and manufacture tea on a sufficiently large scale.

It was the beginning of the History of Uji tea and the first of many steps taken by High Priest Myoe in his effort to spread the production and drinking custom of green tea throughout Japan.

The art of Sencha, sometimes refered to as 'steeped tea' was introduced into Japan in the second half of the seventeenth century by refugees from China, many of them monks and intellectuals, who fled their country after the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644. Sencha, as a 'tradition' of drinking tea, has perhaps done more to develop the aesthetic sensibilities of the average Japanese than chanoyu ?Powdered tea ceremony?. The Sencha tea service is now a secular and social pastime, but the storong Zen influence is still very evident.

Region: Uji , located near Kyoto, is Japan?s oldest tea growing region. The reputed rich dark soil of Japan can be found nested in the valley of Uji and is considered best in the country for growing tea. The muggy climate of the Uji river valley also adds for a richer and improved flavor. Uji tea tend to have more fragrance than teas from Shizuoka Prefecture. Shizuoka is the main tea growing region, located south west of Tokyo.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty. ~Japanese Proverb

Feel free to discuss your love of Green tea, Chado, Zen Buddhism.



  • Reply 1 of 10
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    Wa Kei Sei Jaku (harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity) are the four principles of Chanoyu as left by tea master Sen Rikyu (1522-1591). They are the principles that practitioners of tea endeavor to integrate into their daily lives. These principles are a reflection of the pure spirit and soul of Sen Rikyu. While not a true zengo (Zen phrase) these four simple words can be realized after much practice.

    Wa (harmony) is the ultimate ideal for human beings. It is the positive interaction between the host and the guest in a tea gathering or among people in any situation in life. Tea is the sharing between the host and guest and is not a solitary pursuit. Harmony extends to nature, as well, and to tangibles such as tea utensils, everyday utensils and life itself. True harmony brings peace.

    Kei (respect) is the ability to understand and accept others, even those who we may be in disagreement with. When we are kind to others, and can humble ourselves, we can receive respect. In tea the host thinks of the guest and the guest of the host. It is this continued sharing and consideration that makes the tea gathering both memorable and successful. Ideally, all are of the same rank in the tea room. It is important to treat everything and everybody with the same respect. Treat utensils of various pedigree the same. The price of an object should not dictate how it is treated. Extend a pure heart and true respect can be realized.

    Sei (purity) is the ability to treat oneself and others with a pure and open heart. This is really the essence of tea training. This purity is not one of absolute cleanliness but one of pure heart. With a pure heart, harmony and respect can be realized. When the tea garden is cleaned ones heart and soul are also being purified. When one wears clean clothes this purity also exists. A pure heart is not showy but natural. Sen Rikyu's ideal of purity was the natural look of the garden after it was cleaned and a few leaves from a tree fell onto the freshly manicured moss.

    Jaku (tranquillity) is the point in ones training and practice where a level of selflessness is reached. While on the one hand it is the ultimate goal, on the other it is the beginning once again. A true master reaches this highest level and then putting the ideals of harmony, respect and purity into practice, begins again with a fresh and enlightened heart. At this point the endless possibilities of life can be realized.

  • Reply 2 of 10
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    I liked iced green tea with honey.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    I like the kind of tea in sweet tea.

    End of transmission.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I actually like "European" tea the best. I'm pretty sure it all came from China at some point, though.

    As for Zen Buddihism, I have no idea about Zen. I know a little bit about Indian Buddhism, but nothing about Zen.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    lupalupa Posts: 202member
    I live in the chicago area and have a zen buddhist temple only a few blocks from my house. I do my best to go at least once a week, but I also sing in a choir at church (episcopal) and I enjoy going to yoga classes (preferably one's not full of middle aged women in pink jumpsuits, not that I have anything against them, but they can be kind of intimidating), so my time spent towards spiritual stuffs gets a bit stretched.

    As for zen buddhism, I'm not sure where I stand on all points of it philosophically, but meditation is great for getting focused and aware of what's around you. The services are also nice because only a few people show up on average, so there's plenty of opportunity for asking questions and discussing meditation or whatever else crosses your mind. Not having much experience with tea myself, the greatest link I have is that they serve tea after these services.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    The japanese obsession with green tea is extraordinary. Every soft drink vendingmachine in japan also sells unsugared cold green tea by the bottle.

    In addition to sencha, I enjoy genmaicha, green tea with rice.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    I used to drink green tea regularly... but I now have a severe sensitivity to even the smallest amounts of caffeine.. so I now have to avoid
  • Reply 8 of 10
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member

    Originally posted by New

    The japanese obsession with green tea is extraordinary. Every soft drink vendingmachine in japan also sells unsugared cold green tea by the bottle.

    In addition to sencha, I enjoy genmaicha, green tea with rice.

    I brew my green tea 95% of the time but I do love these:

    Sencha Shot Link

  • Reply 9 of 10
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    When I brew sencha I use tea from ujinotsuyuseicha co., LTD.


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