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公家も抹茶を飲んだのか?

中国で生まれた抹茶は、鎌倉時代に日本に輸入されました。最初は禅宗寺院で飲まれていたものが、様々な階層にひろまっていきます。抹茶を好んだ歴史上の人物としては、織田信長や豊臣秀吉といった武士のイメージが強いですが、鎌倉時代にはすでに公家の間でも飲まれていました。特に江戸時代の初頭には公家の間で茶道が流行し、江戸時代初期の随筆『春寝覚』には、茶道に夢中になっている公家にあきれている一文があります。

Did Courtiers Drink Powdered Green Tea?

The practice of drinking powdered green tea started in China, and it was introduced to Japan at the end of the twelfth century.  Powdered tea was drunk at Zen monasteries first, and then spread among people of various classes under the Kamakura shogunate (from the end of the twelfth to the early fourteenth century)

It is often said that powdered tea was particularly popular among the warrior class, for example Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi are famous warlords of the sixteenth century who liked drinking powdered tea.

However courtiers started drinking powdered green tea at the same time as warriors did. In the seventeenth century, the early days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the elaborate way of making and consuming powdered green tea, that is Sa-do or the tea ceremony, became popular among courtiers. An essay, Haru no Nezame or Spring Awakenings, written in the mid seventeenth century, includes a sarcastic remark about courtiers who were engrossed in sa-do.

茶道 / Sado
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