Tea is nothing other than this :
Have the water heated up, prepare the tea
And drink it properly
That is all you need to know.
Sen no Rikyû
In 2001, a real Tea House (chashitsu) was consigned to the Museum of Mariemont by the Urasenke School of Tea. Built by specialized artisans who came especially from Kyoto and using traditional materials imported from Japan, on several Sundays each year it accommodates ceremonies organized by members of the school. This constitutes a rare occasion (only one other Tea House exists in Belgium, in the Japanese Garden of Hasselt) to find out about a fundamental aspect of the traditional culture of Japan, based on principles of harmony, respect, purity and serenity as they were defined in the 16th century by Sen no Rikyû, grand master of Tea and founder of the Urasenke school.
At Mariemont, the Tea House is placed in one of the museum’s halls. The connections formerly existing between tea and Buddhism are recalled by the presence of a dry garden, consisting of rocks and raked gravel, created around the Tea House in the spirit of the Zen monasteries of Japan.
The Tea Ceremony led the Japanese to develop a completely original sensitivity toward pottery, whether from China, Korea or Japan. Each Tea Ceremony will therefore be preceded by a short tour of the Mariemont collections displaying one aspect or another of the pottery connected with tea.
Conditions for participation
To participate in the tour and in the tea tasting ceremony, reservations are strongly encouraged with the Public Relations Department and participation in the costs is requested (to be paid on site the same day at the reception counter).