Tea picking at Uji, c. 1920
Ochaya (tea house), c. 1910
Green tea culture, c. 1950
“Tsugane San came in shortly and seated herself upon a square cushion on the opposite side of the hibachi. She pulled the tea tray towards her and taking the tall blue cup poured a little hot water in it and replaced it on the tray.
“Opening an air tight canister which had a lid with a rim quite half as deep as the canister’s entire height she took out two pinches of tea dried leaves of a deep dull green that had never suffered from other heat or chemical process than the sun’s rays effect. The two pinches went into the kibisho, or small porcelain teapot. Next she poured boiling water from the tetsubin – the iron tea kettle – into a sort of gravy boat where it must cool a bit lest it make the brew astringent.
“Replacing the tea kettle on the brazier she turned the moderated boiling water on the leaves, let it stand perhaps a minute, and pouring a tiny cup half full for Kato San – her cup full for herself – drank the sherry colored liquor slowly with a sound somewhere between a kiss and a sigh.”
– The Heart of Japan: Glimpses of Life and Nature Far from the Travellers Track in the Land of the Rising Sun, by Clarence Ludlow Brownell, 1903
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