What are some Samurai cultural pursuits and a primary source (photograph, painting, document or extract from document) that can explain their pursuits?
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It may seem odd, given the warrior-like nature of the Samurai, but the practice known as "cha no yu," or tea ceremony, played a significant role in the culture.
Tea ceremonies, rituals of the elite, were both simple and elaborate. The tea room was entered into only by a very small door through which on had to crawl, symbolizing humility. Swords were left outside. Once inside the hut, a scroll with a simple message, chosen by the tea room's owner, was visible. Guests read the greeting or proverb and sat around a hearth. A light meal that was both visually pleasing and tasteful was served, followed by Saki and usually fruit.
The tea itself is the last thing to be served during the ceremony. The guests exit the tea room. The host replaces scroll is replaced by a vase with a single flower and prepares the tea. Guests return and are served. The host and guest both strive to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
The Frazier Museum had an exhibt of Samurai culture including artifacts from tea ceremonies. You can read more at the link below.
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