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What is the Most Important Tea Utensil for the Tea Ceremony?

Nanpôroku”, a text book for tea written around 1700, says ‘The most important tea utensil for Chanoyu is Kakemono’, the hanging scroll. This message reflects the respect in which wabi-cha, the style of tea based on simple and rustic aesthetics, held the calligraphy of Zen priests.

On the other hand, in the book called “Rikyû Hyakushu, Rikyû’s hundred poems, there is a poem saying ‘Chanoyu can be performed with only a kettle.’ The kettle that boils the water for the tea certainly plays a central role. Other people think that the tea bowl is the most important, because a tea bowl is indispensable for drinking tea.

Thus, the answer to this question reveals different approaches to tea.

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