sen no rikyu

I've sat in the tiny space of Tai'an, the tea hut in Kyoto, Japan, that was among the last places Sen no Rikyu performed the Japanese tea ceremony. His descendants, more than 400 years later, continue to carry on the art. Sitting alone in that shadowy two-mat space where he once sat, I felt the weight of history. It was as enormous as the universe. Before Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), Japanese tea ceremonies were an exercise in opulence, conducted in fancy halls with gilded bowls, a chance to show off one's wealthy and chic style.

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