Ritualized preparation and drinking of tea developed in Japan. It involves a host and one or more guests; the tea, utensils, and movements used in preparing, serving, and drinking the tea are all prescribed. When tea was introduced from Song-dynasty China by the Zen monk Eisai (1141–1215), it was drunk by Zen monks to help them stay awake during meditation. The laity enjoyed tea-tasting competitions that developed into a more refined, meditative form among the warrior aristocracy in the 15th century. The most famous exponent of the tea ceremony was Sen Rikyū (1522–91), tea master to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who codified a style known as wabi, which favoured rustic, rough-shaped tea bowls and spare, simple surroundings. Three popular schools of the tea ceremony trace their roots to Rikyū, and other schools exist as well; today mastery of the tea ceremony is one accomplishment of a well-bred young woman.
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A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a special occasion.
Other ceremonies underscore the importance of irregular special occasions, such as:
In some Asian cultures, ceremonies also play an important role, for example the tea ceremony.
Both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy.