Japanese tea ceremony 3
Type of Spiritual Experience
In the quote below you have the official line. Although the description does hint at something a little more.
But we have to look at the print a little harder.
There is a cloud layer shown at the top – this picture shows a lot more than just a tea shop.
A description of the experience
Japanese prints – Gabrielle Fahr-Becker
"Mizuchaya" were stalls set up outside shrines and temples, in front of which simple stools and benches were placed for the benefit of pilgrims who wished to take some rest. Refreshment was provided in the form of tea, served by attractive young women in splendid kimonos and broad aprons who would compete for custom.
The girl in this picture, wearing a long apron, has her hair done up in the fashion of the time. Boys and men, dressed in fashionably long kimonos would also come to the tea-stalls for no other reason than to visit the waitresses, two particularly popular ones being Osen and Okita, who were used as favourite motifs for woodblock prints by, for example, Buncho, Harunobu and Utamaro .
It cannot be determined for certain where this particular tea-stall was located, but the characters spelling out "bosatsu" on the lantern on the left indicate that it was by a temple; these lanterns served as street-lighting. On the lantern on the right would be written the name of the proprietor, but unfortunately part of it is hidden from view.
The guest has a pipe in his hand and beside him is an ash-tray. The girl is pictured as she turns to face him; in front of her is a cabinet which would have contained different varieties of tea.