Also known as chanoyu, commonly refers to the Japanese tea ceremony, a spiritual and aesthetic discipline for the understanding of how to "do", and how find "the way" of "chado" that means "the way of tea".
The tea ceremony is centered on the activity that the host spend together with the guest. The aim is to serve to him an unforgettable moment with a cup of tea in exchange of his gratitude responds, realizing both that shared time togheter can never be repeated, and that it is an opportunity of "once in a lifetime".
Urasenke has long been active in promoting worldwide understanding and appreciation of chado, so that the spirit of this 'way,' symbolized by its ideals of Harmony
Invented by SEN Rikyu, having been grown on Japanese soil, "the way of tea" is the quintessence of Japanese aesthetics and culture. The principles behind this art of living are harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. These are universal principles that, in a busy world like ours today, can guide us towards the realization of true peace.
The tea plant probably originated in the mountainous region of southern Asia, and from there was brought to China. At first it was used as a medicine, but by the Tang dynasty (618-907), it came to be drunk mainly for the enjoyment of its flavor.
The Japanese "tea route" dates back 500 years, and Genshitsu Sen was head of the Urasenke school. Having survived World War II, he sees tea as a powerful force for peace. In December 1943, he entered the Japanese naval air service. He had a box and some tea with him. Everyone knew that and in their uniforms they sometimes sat cross-legged and like the war-time samurai he was there, making tea for these warriors. Then, in April 1945, the Tokushima division of the air service was assigned to the kamikaze units. When it happened, a comrade said, "Ok, Sen, I guess this is my last cup of tea." As he drank, he said, "Sen, i wish to come in your teahouse and share a cup of tea with you again." That memory, after all these years, still remained vivid to Genshitsu Sen , and that was when he realized that they would never come back home.
In the end, with much luck Sen he was transferred. If it had not happened now it would be at the bottom of the sea, dead.
More than 70 years have passed since the end of the war and today, every single day, with shame in his heart, Sen puts his hands in prayer for all his friends he lost.
He hears their voices in the sky, telling him, "Hey, make sure we did not died in vain, do you understand?" And that's why today Master Sen is still very determined to tell the world that with a cup of tea and the Way of the Tea (Chado) we can still try to prevent war and bring peace. This is what he has always wanted to do.