Traditional Japanese Tea Pavilion

by Elena Popec 30. April 2010 10:27

The Tea Pavilion is one of the most interesting monuments in the world of architecture. Which is unparalleled, not only in the West, but also in the Land of the Rising Sun. 
 
According to legend, a tea pavilion as a separate building, invented by Rikyu, the greatest of all Japanese tea ceremony masters, who in the XVI century determined its ritual. 
 
Formally, the tea pavilion (sukiya) is nothing more than a simple thatched hut. It consists of the tea room accommodating up to five people, ante-room (Mizuya) where all supplies for the ritual are washed and arranged before taking in the main room, awning (Matia) under which guests usually expect an invitation to enter, and a garden path (Rhodes) that is connecting the awning and the tea room. 
 
The Tea Pavilion is a very small building, but every detail in it is carefully chosen. Its construction is more expensive than the construction of a mansion, and the builders carrying out an order of a master of tea ceremony are very respectable caste. 
 
The style of the tea pavilion is very simple. The situation should help to forget the bustle of the material world, and not to compel attention to its transient luxury. 
 
Semantic center of the tea pavilion is Tokonoma, a kind of "red corner” of the tea room. During the tea ceremony, a painting, a scroll or an object that specifies a certain mood of the guests of the ceremony is placed in Tokonoma. Flowers - one of the most common attributes of the ritual, traditionally, placed inside. 
 
Hieroglyph for a tea pavilion (茶室), can be deciphered as "shelter of imagination", "shelter of emptiness" or "shelter asymmetry”. Tea Pavilion, being sparingly decorated, allows to activate the human imagination, which should complete the asymmetry of the place. 
 
Each tea pavilion is different and, indeed, is unique, as it is created for a specific master at his own request and according to his tastes. The Tea Pavilion is not inherited: when the master dies, the building dies. The Tea Pavilion is an attempt to feel the joy of individually experienced moments of life, rather than enduring symbol of eternity. 
 
In contrast to the lush of western interior, the interior of the Tea house is extremly simple. Only one piece of art, which is placed in Tokonoma, specifies a certain mindset. According to that piece of art, most often it is flowers or a special type and color of glassware, then the rest of accessories are selected.
 
No subject in the tea pavilion looks like any other by color or shape. Flowers are never combined with their images, a black bowl is not used in combinations with a black box for storing tea leaves, and even wooden objects are made of different types of trees. The awareness of imperfection and incompleteness is a way to comprehend the world around by trying to find one’s place in it and coming to harmony with it. 
 
Like everything else in the Japanese culture of tea, the pavilion is a symbol of a certain philosophy of life. A "man" is called to the consonance with the world, harmony, and gain in active spiritual poetic action, not passive contemplation of the surrounding reality, and even more so than merging with it in a wild dance of everyday life.

Green Tea & Black Tea can reduce the risk of a stroke

by Steven Popec 18. February 2010 23:51

Stroke - acute impairment of cerebral circulation, noticeably "rejuvenated" for the last decade. This medical emergency can be averted by having a few glasses of black or green tea a day. This statement was made by a group of American scientists from the University of California, studied nine researches on the subject. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223091806.htm

In recent years, every twelve months, around the world more than six million people are diagnosed with a stroke. In peacetime, stroke causes the death of every third adult person, which means that is more frequent cause of death than a car accidents. Thus, every two out of ten cases of stroke happen to people under the age of fifty. There are very few ways to reduce the risk of stroke. According to lead author of study Lenore Arab, a professor of medicine, by the time a stroke victim receives medical care, it’s nearly too late to impede the damage.  Another research found that 25 percent of people who had a stroke died within one year. 

American scientists have collected and conducted nine large-scale studies on the relationship between regular consumption of green and black tea, and the risk of stroke. It appears that tea may be the prevention from this disease. The survey covered nearly 195,000 individuals of different sex, age, social status, and so on.  This group of people in a certain period of time had 4,378 cases of stroke.


As the researchers found, people that regularly drink green or black tea two to three cups which is about three hundred milliliters of tea per day, the risk of stroke for them is reduced by 21%, compared to people who do not drink tea at all, or drink one cup a day or less.

The scientists suggest that the whole matter in the substances contained in tea, and plan soon to conduct a series of clinical trials to confirm the findings.

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