Tea ceremony hosted by Master Sen So'oku of the Mushakouji Senke (武者小路千家) school at the newly restored Kouka Teahouse in the former residence of Prince Asaka in Tokyo (today, home to Metropolitan Teien Art Museum)
Sen Sōshu (portraied below) is the 14th iemoto of Mushakokuji — one of the three historical households founded by descendants of Sen no Rikyu, the great 16th century tea master.
The first to emphasize several key aspects of the ceremony, including rustic simplicity, directness of approach and honesty of self, Rikyu profoundly refined chado, elevating it a spiritual excercise and turning into one of the classical Zen arts.
The three schools - Mushakokuji, Urasenke and Omotesenke — often referred to in Japan as san Senke or "three Sen houses/families" (三千家) are dedicated to preserving and transmitting Rikyu’s legacy.
Designed by Sason Nakagawa, a tea master of the Mushakouji Senke school, the Kouka tea house was constructed in the 1930s by Masaya Hirata, a famous carpenter from Osaka who specialized in tea houses. It was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 2015.
Kouka, which combines two Chinese characters -- light and flower - means resplendence. The plaque with the name was calligraphed by Prince Asaka himself.
Many thanks to Alice Gordenker for the invite and all the arrangements (including gorgeous weather/ light!). :)