Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The True History of Tea

 "I wonder why the Japanese do not care for bitter things. In the great country of China they drink tea, as a result of which there is no heart trouble and people live long lives. Our country is filled full of sickly-looking, skinny people, and this is simply because we do not drink tea. Whenever one is in poor spirits, one should drink tea. This will put the heart in good order and dispel all illness."

This quote is from Japanese Buddhist monk (1141-1215) Myoan Eisai who  believed Japan could be saved by the teachings of Zen and that if  Japan took to drinking tea they could be restored to health. This quote is situated in the time frame after Eisai returned from studies in China and Japanese tea culture began to flourish. Eisa planted some of the frst tea gardens in Japan that still exist to this day.

from the "True History of Tea" by Victor H. Mair and Erling Hoh

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