Tealeaves Folio



Ichi-Go Ichi-E: One Time, One Meeting

United by an appreciation for the transient beauty of life, nature and the culinary arts, we work to capture the moment – blending together the spirit of the season, people and ideas. We encourage you to pause to take in these moments, and discover the ephemeral beauty of life through the cherry blossoms at our inspired events.


A Japanese ritual of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility, Chadō has a revered place in our evolution, reminding us of the importance of art within the craft of being a tea blender.


Discover more at CherryBlossom.AfternoonTealeaves.com

ICHI-GO ICHI-E : An Audio-Sensory Ritual of Time



One time. One meeting.


The frictions between life and death, permanence and ephemerality, nature and culture can be found within the simple ritual of Chadō, the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Chabana, Shodō, and Wagashi, three important elements of the Chado ceremony, symbolize the fleeting beauty of passing time.

Discover our newest film, which explores the peace found in a fleeting, unrepeatable moment. The natural seasonality of life.


“Not a ritual, not a ceremony, this is a pure act of the heart.”

— Keith Snyder


 · CHADO ·



Chado is known to be a composition of arts.



This is because Chado is a cultural component of Shodo (Calligraphy), Kadou (flower arrangement), Koudou (incense burning), Kimono, Japanese cooking, gardening, architecture, and fine arts and crafts.



In this film, we hope that you will see how Chado, Chabana, Sho, and Wagashi (Japanese cake) are all harmoniously creating one space.



In the tea room, there is a special area called the Tokonoma. In the Tokonoma, there is a hanging picture called Kakemono, which is the most important tool for the tea ceremony.



In general, Kakemono has Zen words, which express the theme of the tea ceremonies or the season.



The poem from tea masters or Zen monks are also used on Kakemono.



Today’s Zen word is called “Ikka goyouwo hiraku” from Darumataishi. It literally means a flower will open up five petals when it blooms. However, it implies that when you get rid of your bad passions, it will bring you towards enlightenment.



A flower with five petals will bear fruit. In other words, if people do not have five knowledge/wisdom, we will not be able to bring our knowledge/wisdom to the next generation.



The five wisdom we talk about here is having a peaceful mind/heart to maintain harmony, treating people equally, seeing the world without having any prejudice/bias, dedicating yourself to others, and finally, being honest and true to yourself.



As you can see from the Zen words on Kakemono, you will find Buddhist’s thoughts as well as the traditional Japanese culture.





We use seasonal flowers for Chabana. The Chabana is not supposed to be arranged too beautifully as it is more ideal to look like the flowers in the wild.



Also, instead of choosing the fully bloomed flowers, it is better to choose the one that is still in bud, preferably wild grass.



Unlike Kado, Chabana does not have a specific form.



However, since there is no form in Chabana, it allows you to arrange flowers as they naturally are, and allows you to express the heart of hospitality or welcoming. Chabana is the only viable being in the tea ceremony.



When I cut into the flowers with scissors, I always appreciate and acknowledge the life the flower has lived.



We can learn the circle of life and death from trees and flowers as they bloom and die very fast.



I believe that Chabana gives us the opportunity to remind us of the preciousness of our life as well as those of all living things.  





Wagashi can be enjoyed with our five senses; sight, taste, texture, smell, and sound.



Wagashi, which are made of familiar ingredients such as nuts, fruits, grains, and beans, are called the food of arts.



It is believed that the origin of Wagashi started in the Kamakura era, 12th century, when the Buddhist monk brought dumplings from China.



As the Edo era began, people started distinguishing Wagashi by its different names and expanded its varieties.



Since then, at tea ceremonies, Omogashi, Japanese cakes were served before Koicha (dark tea) and Wasanbon, dry sweets, were eaten before Usucha (light tea).



Wagashi is an essential part of tea ceremonies as it portrays classical literature and the seasons of Japan. It also embodies the theme of the tea ceremony.





Tea is originally from China, and Japanese people have been enjoying and having tea since the Nara era.



Tea, which was brought by the Eizai Zen master from China, was also used as a medicine in the Kamakura era.



After that, in the 16th century, Wabicha was known/spread by Senrikyuu.



The formal tea ceremony is called Chaji, and we have a lot of practices to serve as the best host.



We spend four hours in Chaji as it is such an exceptional time for guests and hosts to make koicha and usucha, serve tea-ceremony dishes, and boil hot water together.



Chado also has four teachings that are known as “Wakeiseijyaku”.



“Wa” is referred as having a good balance serving guests, having a good balance between guests, having a good balance maintaining the tools, and finally the importance of having a good balance of a peaceful body and mind.



“Kei” presents the mind of respecting others, taking care of your tools, and appreciating everything that makes you alive.



“Sei” expresses the purity of not only the physical appearance but also the mental state.



Finally, “Yaku” is referred as an immovable or strong mindset. “Yaku” is the last component that you would acquire after you learn “Wa”, “Kei”, and ”Sei”.



I believe that Chado helps remind us what the most important thing in our life is.


 · SHODO ·



In this film, Chado, Wagashi, Sho, and Chabana have their own beautiful features, and they create their own harmony instead of their differences conflicting with each other.



As you learn more about Japanese culture, you will realize that it often portrays life and death, immortality and mortality, nature and culture. Thus, we appreciate our life and work hard on improving ourselves as we realize that nothing stays the same.



Japanese culture has been fostered for hundreds of millions of years, and I hope you all had a chance to learn about our profound culture through this film.



None of us is perfect.



This is why we try very hard to become a better person.



In Chado, we find beauty from imperfections.



As we see beauty from something imperfect, I don’t believe that perfection is always the best way to be.



If there is a such thing as perfection, it would be similar to a person with a beautiful mind rather than a person with an amazing physical appearance, or a perfect thing could be a thing which conveys a creator’s feelings.



The phrase “Ichigo Ichie” came from Chado.



It implies that each Chakai you have is different and it was or it will never be the same. In other words, you will never experience the same Chakai ever in your life.



Thus, we do our best to express our respect and acknowledgment in Chakai.



Not only in Chado but also in our daily lives, we will never be able to experience this moment again.



The phrase “Ichigo Ichie” implies that we appreciate every moment we live and we appreciate all the people we meet in our life.


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#OverACupOfTealeaves: At TEALEAVES, we believe that the best “condiment” to any cup of TEALEAVES is a story to tell and wisdom to share.


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