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A Celebration of Tea: Autumn Leaves

Posted by
GJC (Kyoto, Japan) on 14 December 2011 in Food & Cuisine.

This image is part of a short series, A Celebration of Tea, which began here.

Matcha green tea is usually served with sweets, of which there are innumerable kinds, but which can generally be called wagashi (和菓子). What unites the different varieties is the emphasis on seasonal themes. Here we see the leaves of autumn descend onto our plate. Later will come winter shapes, like the tsubaki or camellia flower.

These sweets are a reminder that the way of tea is not just kimono and finery and rules. It is the awareness of life as it is being lived. "One time, one meeting," (ichigo ichie; 一期一会) is a phrase often used to describe the central meaning of the way of tea: live each encounter as a unique and precious experience. As Yamanoue Sōji, one of Rikyū's great disciples, wrote in 1590: "Although it may be an ordinary tea gathering from the time you enter the roji [the path to the teahouse] until you leave you should give respect to your host as though it were a meeting that could occur only once."

NIKON D300 1/10 second F/3.2 ISO 280 52 mm (35mm equiv.)

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

An extraordinarily precise and dramatic still life. Exquisite color !!
You are causing me to notice and reflect on the 'rituals' that there are in the preparation of many kinds of food (and in other activities, too). It is very agreeable to do so. Thank you !!

14 Dec 2011 7:23am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Great frame !

14 Dec 2011 8:08am

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

Spectacular composition and incredible colors

14 Dec 2011 8:16am

Riccardo from Rome, Italy

Great colors!! Great frame!!

14 Dec 2011 9:30am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Rituals are part of every culture and you are showing us some of yours beautifully GJC! The autumn colours are a wonderful contrast for the macha. Your explanation brings it all together! Thank you for sharing! ;-)

14 Dec 2011 11:18am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Beautifully framed ! I love tea, and I love sweets !

14 Dec 2011 12:59pm

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

I'm short on ritual...but long on respect. best…jf

14 Dec 2011 1:39pm

Lena from San Francisco, United States

pretty nice.

14 Dec 2011 3:51pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

A wonderful composition with magnificent color. I was introduced to tea as a child, but only when I was sic. As a result, I have never fully adopted a love for it. Your series is truly an education for me.

14 Dec 2011 4:35pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A gorgeous and exotic setting for this celebration of tea. An excellent composition.

14 Dec 2011 9:54pm

Veronique from Suisse/, France

I like this respect for food close to sacredness

15 Dec 2011 10:14am

Manola from Bassens, France

a delightful picture ...;-)

16 Dec 2011 5:57am

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

The Japanese have a unique way of taking one thing and turning it into a work of art! They did the same with the tea ceremony!

16 Dec 2011 6:47am

NIKON D300
1/10 second
F/3.2
ISO 280
52 mm (35mm equiv.)

kyoto
tea
京都
茶道