GE1121 - The Japanese Way of Tea: History, Arts, Architecture and Philosophy

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Asian and International Studies
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
GE Area
Area 1: Arts and Humanities
Course Offering Term*:
Semester B 2020/21

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

Chado or chanoyu, the way of tea, is known in English as the tea ceremony. As an art, it is an occasion to appreciate the tea room's design, the bowl and a simple moment of purity. As a discipline, it has roots in the twelfth century and intimate connections to different aspects of fine arts and Zen Buddhism[1] . Although tea is drunk by people every day around the world, nowhere has it contributed as much to the cultural milieu as in Japan, which had not only given a significant impact on Japanese civilization[2] ; nowadays, its popularity has also spread over other Asian and Western societies.

Apart from traditional classroom teaching, we will invite Japanese tea masters to perform the Japanese way of tea at the tea room[3] , and all students taking the course will be given a chance to experience and practice the tea ceremony. In addition, other learning activities such as appreciation of different types of arts related to tea ceremony (i.e. kimono, calligraphy and flower arrangement), film appreciation, article reading and group discussions, and a group project and presentation are also included.

[1] Tanaka, Sen'o & Tanaka, Sendo. (1998). The Tea Ceremony. Tokyo: Kodansha International.
[2] The Urasebke Chado Tradition. (2005). Kyoto: Chado Urasenke Tankokai Inc. 
[3] CityU tea room located at AC2 G505.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


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Department of Asian and International Studies