Tōdai-ji is a Buddhist temple complex, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Though it was founded in the year 738 CE, Todai-ji was not opened until the year 572 CE, its Great Buddha Hall houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu. The temple serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism; the temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", together with seven other sites including temples and places in the city of Nara. The beginning of building a temple where the Kinshōsen-ji complex sits today can be dated to 728 CE, when Emperor Shōmu established Kinshōsen-ji as an appeasement for Prince Motoi, his first son with his Fujiwara clan consort Kōmyōshi. Prince Motoi died a year after his birth. During the Tenpyō era, Japan suffered from a series of epidemics, it was after experiencing these problems that Emperor Shōmu issued an edict in 741 to promote the construction of provincial temples throughout the nation.
In 743 duing the Tenpyō era the Emperor commissioned the Daibutsu to be built in 743. Tōdai-ji was appointed as the provincial temple of Yamato Province and the head of all the provincial temples. With the alleged coup d'état by Nagaya in 729, a major outbreak of smallpox around 735–737, worsened by several consecutive years of poor crops, followed by a rebellion led by Fujiwara no Hirotsugu in 740, the country was in a chaotic situation. Emperor Shōmu had been forced to move the capital four times, indicating a certain level of instability during this period. According to legend, the monk Gyōki went to Ise Grand Shrine to reconcile Shinto with Buddhism, he spent seven days and nights reciting sutras until the oracle declared Vairocana Buddha compatible with worship of the sun goddess Amaterasu. Under the Ritsuryō system of government in the Nara period, Buddhism was regulated by the state through the Sōgō. During this time, Tōdai-ji served as the central administrative temple for the provincial temples and for the six Buddhist schools in Japan at the time: the Hossō, Kegon, Jōjitsu, Sanron and Kusha.
Letters dating from this time show that all six Buddhist schools had offices at Tōdai-ji, complete with administrators and their own library. Japanese Buddhism during this time still maintained the lineage of the Vinaya and all licensed monks were required to take their ordination under the Vinaya at Tōdai-ji. In 754 CE, ordination was given by Ganjin, who arrived in Japan after traveling over 12 years and six attempts of crossing the sea from China, to Empress Kōken, former Emperor Shōmu and others. Buddhist monks, including Kūkai and Saichō received their ordination here as well. During Kūkai's administration of the Sōgō, additional ordination ceremonies were added to Tōdai-ji, including the ordination of the Bodhisattva Precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra and the esoteric Precepts, or Samaya, from Kukai's own newly established Shingon school of Buddhism. Kūkai added an Abhiseka Hall to use for initiating monks of the six Nara schools into the esoteric teachings. By 829 CE; as the center of power in Japanese Buddhism shifted away from Nara to Mount Hiei and the Tendai sect, when the capital of Japan moved to Kamakura, Tōdai-ji's role in maintaining authority declined.
In generations, the Vinaya lineage died out, despite repeated attempts to revive it. In 743, Emperor Shōmu issued a law stating that the people should become directly involved with the establishment of new Buddhist temples throughout Japan; the Emperor believed that such piety would inspire Buddha to protect his country from further disaster. Gyōki, with his pupils, traveled the provinces asking for donations. According to records kept by Tōdai-ji, more than 2,600,000 people in total helped construct the Great Buddha and its Hall; the 16m high statue was built through eight castings over three years, the head and neck being cast together as a separate element. The making of the statue was started first in Shigaraki. After enduring multiple fires and earthquakes, the construction was resumed in Nara in 745, the Buddha was completed in 751. A year in 752, the eye-opening ceremony was held with an attendance of 10,000 monks and 4,000 dancers to celebrate the completion of the Buddha; the Indian priest Bodhisena performed the eye-opening for Emperor Shōmu.
The project nearly bankrupted Japan's economy, consuming a great amount of the bronze available at the time. 48 lacquered cinnabar pillars, 1.5 m in diameter and 30 m long, support the blue tiled roof of the Daibutsu-den. Maps that include some of the original structures of Todai-ji are rare, though some still exist today; some of these structures include, the two pagodas, the library, lecture hall and the monk's quarters located behind the main hall. Todai-ji functioned not only as a place of worship and Buddhist practice, but as a place of higher learning and study. Much of what contemporaries now know about the original layout of the temple comes from the writings of monks who lived and studied there; the original complex contained two 100 m pagodas, making them some of the tallest structures at the time. They were located on one on the western and one on the eastern side; the pagodas themselves were surrounded by a walled courtyard with four gates. These were destroyed by an
Taima-dera is a Buddhist temple in Katsuragi, Japan. The temple legend says it was built in 612 by the Imperial Prince Maroko, the brother of Prince Shotoku; the temple was moved to its present location in 681 by the grandson of Prince Maroko, served as the head temple, or honzan of the Hosso sect although the temple is jointly administrated by Shingon and Jodo schools. The temple's main object of veneration is Maitreya Bodhisattva, but the most popular attraction is the Taima Mandala, a graphical representation of the Sukhavati Pure Land, pilgrimage site for Pure Land Buddhists. List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan For an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture, see the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism. Media related to Taimadera at Wikimedia Commons。 Taima-dera Homepage - Japanese only Amida Net - Explanation of Taima Mandala Photos of Taima-dera
Buddhist temples in Japan
Buddhist temples, together with Shinto shrines, are considered to be amongst the most numerous and important religious buildings in Japan. The shogunates or leaders of Japan have made it a priority to update and rebuild Buddhist temples since the Momoyama period; the Japanese word for a Buddhist temple is tera, the same kanji has the pronunciation ji, so that temple names end in -dera or -ji. Another ending, -in, is used to refer to minor temples; such famous temples as Kiyomizu-dera, Enryaku-ji, Kōtoku-in are temples which use the described naming pattern. In Japan, Buddhist temples co-exist with Shinto shrines, both share the basic features of Japanese traditional architecture. Both Torii and rōmon mark the entrance to a shrine as well as temples although torii is associated with Shinto and Romon is associated with Buddhism; some shrines, for example Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū, have a Buddhist-style main gate called sōmon. Many temples have a komainu, like a shrine. Conversely, some shrines have a shōrō belltower.
Others – for example, Tanzan Jinja in Nara – may have a pagoda. Similarities between temples and shrines are functional. Like a shrine, a Buddhist temple is not a place of worship: its most important buildings are used for the safekeeping of sacred objects, are not accessible to worshipers. Unlike a Christian church, a temple is a monastery. There are specialized buildings for certain rites, but these are open only to a limited number of participants. Religious mass gatherings do not take place with regularity as with Christian religions, are in any event not held inside the temple. If many people are involved in a ceremony, it will assume a festive character and will be held outdoors; the architectural elements of a Buddhist temple are meant to embody themes and teachings of Buddhism. The reason for the great structural resemblances between the Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines lies in their common history; when Shintoism first encountered Buddhism it became more interpretive as it did not try to explain the universe as Buddhism sometimes tried to.
It is in fact normal for a temple to have been a shrine, in architectural terms, obvious differences between the two are therefore few, so much so that only a specialist can see them. Many visitors visit Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines for similar reasons such as prayer and for luck; the two religions coexist due increased the birth of new religions. Shrines enshrining local kami existed long before the arrival of Buddhism, but they consisted either of demarcated land areas without any building or of temporary shrines, erected when needed. With the arrival of Buddhism in Japan in the 6th century, shrines were subjected to its influence and adopted both the concept of permanent structures and the architecture of Buddhist temples; the successive development of shinbutsu-shūgō and of the honji suijaku theory brought to the complete fusion of kami worship and Buddhism. It became normal for shrines to be accompanied by temples in mixed complexes called jingū-ji or miyadera; the opposite was common: most temples had at least a small shrine dedicated to its tutelary kami, were therefore called jisha.
The Meiji era's eliminated most jingūji, but left jisha intact, so much so that today most temples have at least one, sometimes large, shrine on their premises and Buddhist goddess Benzaiten is worshiped at Shinto shrines. As a consequence, for centuries shrines and temples had a symbiotic relationship where each influenced the other. Shrines took from Buddhism its gates, the use of a hall for lay worshipers, the use of vermilion-colored wood and more, while Chinese Buddhist architecture was adapted to Japanese tastes with more asymmetrical layouts, greater use of natural materials, an adaptation of the monastery to the pre-existing natural environment; the clear separation between Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, which today is the norm, emerges only as a result of the shinbutsu bunri law of 1868. This separation was mandated by law, many shrine-temples were forced to become just shrines, among them famous ones like Usa Hachiman-gū and Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū; because mixing the two religions was now forbidden, jingūji had to give away some of their properties or dismantle some of their buildings, thus damaging the integrity of their cultural heritage and decreasing the historical and economic value of their properties.
For example, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū's giant Niō, being objects of Buddhist worship and therefore illegal where they were, were sold to Jufuku-ji, where they still are. The shrine-temple had to destroy Buddhism-related buildings, for example its tahōtō, its midō, its shichidō garan. Buddhist architecture in Japan is not native, but imported from China and other Asian cultures over the centuries with such constancy that the building styles of all Six Dynasties are represented, its history is, as a consequence, dominated by Chinese and other Asian techniques and styles on one side, by Japanese original variations on those themes on the other. Due to the variety of climates in Japan and the millennium encompassed between the first cultural import and the last, the result is heterogeneous, but several universal features can be found nonetheless. First of all is the choice of materials, always
. Lawn ornaments are decorative objects placed in the grassy area of a property. Animal forms: Animal statues such as frogs, turtles and ducks are cast in plastic or cement. Bathtub Madonna: A statue of Mary the mother of Jesus is placed in a bathtub half buried under the ground. Statues of Mary are most made of white concrete, but are sometimes painted with a blue garment. Bird bath: A structure designed to hold water for birds to bathe in or drink supported upon a pedestal, is known as a bird bath. Bird feeder: A container for foods such as bird seeds is designed to look like a miniature house or barn, may be mounted on a stake, post, or column. Found object art: Items such as bowling balls, toilet planters, antique farm equipment may be repurposed as lawn ornaments. Francis of Assisi: A saint associated with nature and animals may be cast in plaster or cement. Garden gnome: A small colorful gnome statuette. Human form: A depiction of a human being. Human form lawn ornaments can be two-dimensional vertically supported by being thrust in the ground, or three-dimensional.
Examples of human form lawn ornaments include lawn jockey and groomsman. Examples of two-dimensional human form lawn ornaments include renditions of Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch people. A variation of the Pennsylvania Dutch human form is a depiction of an older female bending over as in gardening, thus revealing her undergarments. Jigglers: Plastic or metal flowers and insects fitted on spring-loaded stakes so that they jiggle when the wind blows on them. Lawn jockey, or Jocko, or Groomsmen: an diminutive statuette of a black horse attendant dressed in slave clothing called a Jocko. Groomsmen were used as hitching posts; the origin of the groomsman is disputed, but it is accepted that they originated in the U. S. South. No longer as common since the civil rights movement; the "Cavalier" variation depicts a white figure. One legend has it. Lighthouses: Small-scale representations of local lighthouses are popular in coastal areas. Nest box/bird house: A small house for a bird made of wood and on a stake.
Plastic flamingo: A lifesize replica of a pink flamingo. According to some, the origin of the plastic flamingo was in 1946 with the company Union Products in its "Plastics for the Lawn" product line, their collection included dog, frogs, a flamingo. Spinners: Usually shaped like flowers with petals that spin in the wind. Variations include insects with spinning wings. Statuary and outdoor sculpture Topiary specimens Whirligig: An animalistic sculpture supported vertically by being pushed in the ground characterized by at least one rotating member designed to appear as a bodypart of the sculpture. Windmill: A disconnected but free-spinning miniature in the American Aermotor style having about a dozen metal vanes, or the traditional Dutch style having four wood vanes. Yard globe: A light-reflective sphere, as large as 16" in diameter and displayed on top of a support structure. Called gazing globes or gazing balls. Garden ornament Garden Garden design Kitsch Landscape design Ornament Outdoor sculpture Goings, Kenneth W. Mammy and Uncle Mose: Black Collectibles and American Stereotyping.
Varkonyi, Charlyne, A Bird in the hand: The Story of the Pink Flamingo, Sun-Sentinel. A Guide to Freedom - Jockey statues marked Underground Railroad, Lexington Herald-Leader, February 22, 1998
Main Hall (Japanese Buddhism)
Main hall is the term used in English for the building within a Japanese Buddhist temple compound which enshrines the main object of veneration. Because the various denominations deliberately use different terms, this single English term translates several Japanese words, among them Butsuden, Butsu-dō, kondō, konpon-chūdō, hondō. Hondō is its exact Japanese equivalent, while the others are more specialized words used by particular sects or for edifices having a particular structure; the term kondō "golden hall", started to be used during the Asuka and Nara periods. A kondō is the centerpiece of an ancient Buddhist temple's garan in Japan; the origin of the name is uncertain, but it may derive from the perceived preciousness of its content, or from the fact that the interior was lined with gold. This is the name used by the oldest temples in the country. A kondō, for example Hōryū-ji's is a true two-story building with a 3x2 bay central core surrounded by a 1-bay wide aisles (hisashi making it 5x4 bays, surrounded by an external 1-bay wide mokoshi, for a total of 9x7 bays.
The second story has the same dimensions as the temple's core at the first story, but has no mokoshi. Some temples, for example Asuka-dera or Hōryū-ji, have more than one kondō, but only one exists and is the first building to be built; because of its limited size, worshipers were not allowed to enter the building and had to stand outside. The kondō and a pagoda were surrounded by a corridor called kairō; the use of kondō declined after the 10th century, when it was replaced by a hondō divided in naijin and gejin. The term remained in some use up to the Edo period, but its frequency decreased drastically after the appearance of the term hon-dō in the Heian period; the term hondō means "main hall" and it enshrines the most important objects of veneration. The term is thought to have evolved during the 9th century to avoid the early term kondō, at the time used by six Nara sects called the Nanto Rokushū, it became common after the introduction of the two Mikkyo sects to Japan. Various new types of temple buildings, including the hondō, were built during the Heian period, in response to the requirements of new doctrines.
Different buildings were called hondō depending on the sect, for example: the kondō, the chudō, mieidō, the Amida-dō. A notable evolution of the hondō during this period is the inclusion of a space for worshipers inside the hondō itself, called gejin. Other names such as Konpon-chūdō "cardinal central hall" are used as well, for example for the main hall at Mount Hiei's Enryaku-ji; the Tokugawa funeral temple of Kan'ei-ji, built explicitly to imitate Enryaku-ji had one, though it has not survived. Yama-dera in Yamagata is another example of a temple using this name; the Butsuden or Butsu-dō "Buddha Hall", is the main hall of Zen temples of schools such as the Sōtō 曹洞 and Rinzai 臨済. This architectonic style arrived together with Zen during the Kamakura period. There are following types of Butsuden or Butsu-dō: The simplest is a 3x3 bay square building with no mokoshi (a mokoshi being an enclosure circling the core of the temple covered by a pent roof one bay in width; the second type is 3x3 bay square, but has a 1 bay wide mokoshi all around the core of the temple, making it look like a two-story, 5x5 bay building as in the case of the butsuden, visible in the photo on the right.
It is known that during the 13th and 14th centuries large butsuden measuring 5x5 bays square having a mokoshi were built, but none survives. Large size 3x3 bay butsuden with a mokoshi however still exist, for example at Myōshin-ji. In the case of the Ōbaku Zen school that arrived late in Japan, the architecture retained the Ming Chinese style; the hondō of Ōbaku Zen temples is called daiyū-hōden ‘the Treasured Hall of the Mahāvīra ’. An example can be found at Mampuku-ji. Shichidō garan for details about the main hall's position within a temple compound; the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism for terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture. Mahavira Hall, the common Main Hall of Chinese and Korean Buddhist temples Iwanami Kōjien Japanese dictionary, 6th Edition, DVD version Iwanami Nihonshi Jiten, CD-Rom Version. Iwanami Shoten, 1999-2001; the Evolution of Buddhist Architecture in Japan by Alexander Soper 1978, ISBN 9780878171965 Japanese Art Net User System Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology, Kondou, Hondou entries.
Accessed on May 6, 2009 Watanabe, Hiroshi. The Architecture of Tokyo. Edition Axel Menges. ISBN 978-3-930698-93-6
Kasuga Grand Shrine is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nara, in Nara Prefecture, Japan. This shrine was established in the same time the previous capital of Nara was founded. Surrounded by the sacred Mount Mikasa, Kasuga hills, the land that it was built upon is said to have been holy ground before the shrine's establishment; the shrine was constructed by the Fujiwara family who ruled during the Heian period and has since been rebuilt several times over the centuries every 20 years in the process of shikinen sengu. Both Kasuga-taisha and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest that it protects are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara"; the path to Kasuga Shrine passes through Nara Park nearby Man'yo Botanical Garden. This park is home to free roaming deer that are venerated as sacred messengers of the Shinto deities in and around the shrine and mountainous terrain. Kasuga Grand Shrine and the hundreds of deer have been featured in several paintings and works of art of the Nambokucho Period known as Kasuga Mandalas.
The birth of this shrine, according to legend, began when the first kami of Kasuga-taisha, rode on the back of a white deer to the top of Mount Mikasa in 768 CE. This kami is said to have traveled from the Kashima Jingu Shrine; the shrine location first received favor from the Imperial government in the Heian period as a result of the power from the Fujiwara family as well as Empress Shotoku. From 1871 through 1946, Kasuga Shrine was designated one of the Kanpei-taisha, meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines; the four main kami enshrined here are Ame no koyane, Futsunushi no mikoto, Takemikazuchi no mikoto. Though these are the primary divine beings of Kasuga taisha, they are grouped together as a syncretic, combined deity known as Kasuga Daimyōjin, or the "great bright kami of Kasuga." This amalgam lead to the creation of the "Cult of the Kasuga" in which devotees could worship multiple kami at once. Kasuga Daimyōjin is composed of five divine beings and each consists of a Buddhist deity and Shinto kami counterpart.
The fifth deity, Ame no oshikumone, was added much and is said to be the divine child of Ame no koyane and Himegami. The importance of the multifaceted kami was that it became a template for future worshipers who wanted to combine several deities to pray to at once; the architectural style of Kasuga-taisha comes from the name of it's main hall known as Kasuga-zukuri. This style consists of red tones that are reminiscent of Chinese architecture; the shrine complex is protected by four cloisters and contains a main sanctuary, treasure house, several different halls, large gates. One beautiful aspect of this shrine is the many wisteria trees known as "Sunazuri-no-Fuji" that bloom in late April and early May; this shrine is home to over 3,000 lanterns which are made of either stone or bronze. An entire hall is devoted to them, Fujinami-no-ya Hall but the lanterns are only lit during the Setsubun Mantoro and Chugen Mantoro festivals; the four main kami each have a shrine devoted to them. They are characterized by sloping gabled roofs, a rectangular structure and chigi.
The first hall established is dedicated to Takemikazuchi no mikoto, the second to Futsunushi no mikoto, the third to Amenokoyane no mikoto, the final hall is attributed to the consort, Himegami. Several auxillary shrines lie outside the main sanctuary. One is alloted to Tsunofuri no kami, known as Tsubakimoto Jinja Shrine or Kayabusa Myojin. Kasenomiya Jinja Shrine is atttributed to Shinatsuhiko no mikoto and Shinatsuhime who are kami of the winds. Wakamiya Jinja Shrine, created in 1135 CE, is one of the more prominent auxillary shrines because it houses the kogami, or offspring kami called Ame no Oshikumono no mikoto; the primary worship here revolves around vengeful gods and the dead and is the location of the Kasuga Wakamiya festival. The Treasure House at this shrine contains hundreds national treasures as well as about many other cultural properties, most of which are from the Heian period; some of the most noteworthy items that reside here are ornate taiko drums used in gagaku from the Kamakura period, arrows with crystal whistles from the Heian period, bronze mirrors of the Heian and Nanboku-cho periods.
During the festivals of Setsubun Mantoro and Chugen Mantoro, three thousand shrine lanterns are all lit at once. The Setsubun Mantoro refers to the celebration of the seasonal shift from winter to spring while the Chugen Mantoro relates to the transition of summer to fall, they both takes place in order to celebrate the Setsubun holidays in Japanese culture. At Kasuga Grand shrine, people are seen writing and attaching their wishes, or ema, to the lanterns before lighting them during both festivals. Additionally, it is said that tossing dried beans at these times will ward off bad luck in the future. March 13 is a local festival which features the dances of gagaku and bugaku. Shinto women perform traditional Japanese Yamato-mai dances that date back to the Heian and Nara periods; this festival holds a horse celebration which consists of a parade through the streets by a "sacred" horse. One will see people dressed in traditional costumes of the Heian to Edo periods and can experience authentic kagura dance displays with dengaku music.
The Kasuga Wakamiya Festival takes place at the Wakamiya Jinja shrine from December 15 to 18th each year. The main goal of this gathering was to ward off disease while promoting new growth for the spr
Japanese tea ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. In Japanese, it is called chanoyu or sadō, chadō, while the manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is called temae. Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. Much less Japanese tea practice uses leaf tea sencha, in which case it is known in Japanese as senchadō as opposed to chanoyu or chadō. Tea gatherings are classified as a formal tea gathering chaji. A chakai is a simple course of hospitality that includes confections, thin tea, a light meal. A chaji is a much more formal gathering including a full-course kaiseki meal followed by confections, thick tea, thin tea. A chaji can last up to four hours. Chadō is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kōdō for incense appreciation, kadō for flower arrangement; the first documented evidence of tea in Japan dates to the 9th century, when it was taken by the Buddhist monk Eichū on his return from China.
The entry in the Nihon Kōki states that Eichū prepared and served sencha to Emperor Saga, on an excursion in Karasaki in the year 815. It was practiced by Japanese nobles. By imperial order in the year 816, tea plantations began to be cultivated in the Kinki region of Japan. However, the interest in tea in Japan faded after this. In China, tea had been known, according to legend, for more than a thousand years; the form of tea popular in China in Eichū's time was "cake tea" or "brick tea" —tea compressed into a nugget in the same manner as pu-erh. This would be ground in a mortar, the resulting ground tea mixed together with various other herbs and flavourings; the custom of drinking tea, first for medicinal, largely for pleasurable reasons, was widespread throughout China. In the early 9th century, Chinese author Lu Yu wrote The Classic of Tea, a treatise on tea focusing on its cultivation and preparation. Lu Yu's life had been influenced by Buddhism the Zen–Chán school, his ideas would have a strong influence in the development of the Japanese tea.
Around the end of the 12th century, the style of tea preparation called "tencha", in which powdered matcha was placed into a bowl, hot water added, the tea and hot water whipped together, was introduced to Japan by Eisai, another monk, on his return from China. He took tea seeds back with him, which produced tea, considered to be the most superb quality in all of Japan; this powdered green tea was first used in religious rituals in Buddhist monasteries. By the 13th century, when the Kamakura Shogunate ruled the nation and tea and the luxuries associated with it became a kind of status symbol among the warrior class, there arose tea-tasting parties wherein contestants could win extravagant prizes for guessing the best quality tea—that was grown in Kyoto, deriving from the seeds that Eisai brought from China; the next major period in Japanese history was the Muromachi Period, pointing to the rise of Kitayama Culture, centered around the gorgeous cultural world of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and his villa in the northern hills of Kyoto, during this period, the rise of Higashiyama Culture, centered around the elegant cultural world of Ashikaga Yoshimasa and his retirement villa in the eastern hills of Kyoto.
This period 1336 to 1573, saw the budding of what is regarded as Japanese traditional culture as we know it today. The use of Japanese tea developed as a "transformative practice", began to evolve its own aesthetic, in particular that of "sabi" and "wabi" principles. "Wabi" represents the spiritual, experiences of human lives. Its original meaning indicated quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste "characterized by humility, simplicity, profundity and asymmetry" and "emphasizes simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, celebrates the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials." "Sabi", on the other hand, represents the outer, or material side of life. It meant "worn", "weathered", or "decayed". Among the nobility, understanding emptiness was considered the most effective means to spiritual awakening, while embracing imperfection was honoured as a healthy reminder to cherish our unpolished selves and now, just as we are—the first step to "satori" or enlightenment. Murata Jukō is known in chanoyu history as an early developer of tea as a spiritual practice.
He studied Zen under the monk Ikkyū, who revitalized Zen in the 15th century, this is considered to have influenced his concept of chanoyu. By the 16th century, tea drinking had spread to all levels of society in Japan. Sen no Rikyū and his work Southern Record the best-known—and still revered—historical figure in tea, followed his master Takeno Jōō's concept of ichi-go ichi-e, a philosophy that each meeting should be treasured, for it can never be reproduced, his teachings perfected many newly developed forms in architecture and gardens and the full development of the "way of tea". The principles he set forward—harmony, respect and tranquility —are still central to tea. Sen no Rikyū was the leading teamaster of the regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who supported him in codifying and spreading the way of tea as a mea