“Wa Kei Sei Jaku” Essay

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Explain what the four principles of tea “Wa Kei Sei Jaku” mean and how they can be applied to daily life of a person.

   



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Tea is regarded as an indispensable thing for Japanese people and thus, when talking about tea, we can’t forget about the tea ceremony – one of the most beautiful cultures in Japan. Taking Tea Ceremony class was a great opportunity for me to experience this tradition by myself. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Before, I have never thought behind the habit of drinking green tea of Japanese lied such deep meanings. Everything in the tea room, every step from walking, preparing sweets and tea to serving and enjoying them … has its own meaning. However, the things that remained in me the most are also the first thing I learned in Tea Ceremony class, the four principles of tea, Wa – Harmony, Kei – Respect, Sei – Purity and Jaku – Tranquility. These principles act as the basis for the study of tea ceremony since they signify the highest ideals of the way of tea.
The first principle, “Wa” (Harmony) indicates a feeling of becoming one with nature, being in harmonious relationships with other people. When entering the tea room, we have to leave our “self-pride” behind and all become equal since everyone are the “tea person” at that moment. During the tea ceremony, harmony is always presented, which has created the comfortable yet respectful feelings in the peaceful atmosphere between the host and the guests as well as among the guests themselves. Harmony also extends to the nature, between the mood and the season, and even exists between the sweets or drink served and the utensils used.
Moving on to “Kei” (Respect), this word itself conveys the true feeling of one in the tea room, the feeling of gratitude. The term respect here is not only limited to among people in the tea room but even to animate objects, like when the guests admire the beauty of the tea cup after enjoying...

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