Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu)


Materials: Arrange a large area where everyone can gather on the floor. Cushions may be arranged for guests to sit upon. Set up all the materials you are going to use for the tea ceremony at the front of the group so that your guests can watch the process. You should have the water heating at this point. (To authenticate this ceremony even more wear a kimono.) Invite your guests to come and sit upon the cushions.

Directions for tea ceremony:

  1. Bow to your guests and welcome them. "Yopku irasshaimashita" means welcome.
  2. Call each guest by their last name, always adding the word SAN, a term of affection. Example: Liz Watts would be Watts-san.
  3. Serve guests a small rice cake or sweet. When the leader says, "Orakuni," or "Please relax," the guests begin to eat their sweets.
  4. Prepare utensils: Clean the ladle (chashaku) with a red silk napkin. Wipe the rim of the pottery bowl (chawan) with a white linen cloth. Warm the pottery bowl with hot water. Pour out the hot water.
  5. Spoon the powdered green tea (ocha) into the pottery bowl.
  6. Ladle the boiling water into the bowl and stir vigorously with the stirrer until the tea foams.
  7. Ladle the tea into cups or bowls for the students.
  8. Guests bow and sip the tea.
Note: Japanese women and girls are gentle graceful and very polite! Challenge the girls to be truly Japanese for a whole evening: polite, considerate, and self-controlled!

Contributed by:
Liz Watts
Tres Condados Girl Scout Council, California, USA
Ex Guider and Adviser, UK


Do you have any other ideas for activities? Contact The GuideZone Team with your comments or suggestions!

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This page last updated September 23rd, 1999