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The Buddhist Origins of Tea in Japan

Tea is not native to Japan. Tea is related to the Camellia, and it is thought to have originated in Southern China.
Tea had been imported into Japan by the early Heian period. At that time Japan was sending missions, called kentôshi, to China, in order to study Chinese law, medicine, and culture. The custom of drinking tea was brought to Japan by monks who had trained at Buddhist temples in China, and they made the first attempts to grow tea in Japan.
Buddhist temples played the role of transmitters of Chinese culture.

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