Chado Ireland – Blog #1

Urasenke

Kabuto mon, the entrance to Urasenke

Urasenke is the name of one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony. It is one of the san-Senke (three Sen houses/families); the other two are Omotesenke and Mushakōjisenke.

The san-Senke derive from Sen Rikyū, and it was not until after the era of his grandson, Sen Sōtan, that the three separate lines of the family came into being. Three sons of Sōtan each became heirs to the family name, Sen, and to the family profession of teaching the Way of Tea that their mutual family founder, Rikyū, had developed.

The original tea room of Urasenke was built by Sen Sōtan when he was contemplating retirement and having his third son take over the headship of the Sen house. He built this retirement tea room on land located next to the Sen house, on the north. It has the name “Hut of This Day” (今日庵 Konnichian), and from this the entire historical Urasenke estate, which is located on Ogawa street in the Kamigyo ward of Kyoto, directly north of the Omotesenke estate, is referred to by this name.

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