Tea Ceremony

The late Nakano Kazuma said that the original purpose of the Tea Ceremony is the cleanse the six senses. For the eyes there are the hanging scroll and flower arrangement. For the nose there is the incense. For the ears there is the sound of the hot water. For the mouth there is the taste of the tea. And for the hands and feet there is the correctness of form. When the five senses have thus been cleansed, the mind will of itself be purified.

In the poem,

Under the deep snows in the last village
Last night numerous branches of plum blossomed

the opulence of the phrase “numerous branches” was changed to “a single branch.” It is said that this “single branch” contained true tranquility.

 

– Hagakure, second chapter,
Yamamoto Tsunetomo