Tea Museum
Japanese green tea museum

Origin of Japanese green tea

Scientific name of green tea is Cameria sinensis. It is a family of Cameria.

Chinese found out tea trees from more than 2000 years ago. Chinese found out that these trees are useful and did huge plantation. They had created good taste drink. Green tea was introduced to Japan approximately in 6th century.

Zen priest Eizai wrote "Kissa youjouki" (means tea drinking cure) and he wrote green tea's medical effect and Japanese green tea was defused among high nobles.


According to the records of "Kinomi dokkyou"(1466) and "Kanso-jirui"(729), there is a sentence " Daihanjakyo was held in palace in 8th February, priest served tea ceremony in second day...."

Drinking tea was popular among high society in 9th century.

There is a record that Emperor Taijo drank tea with priest Saichou and Kaiko who had gone to China, and they went to priest Kukai's temple.

"Tea grand dictionary" mentions native Japanese green tea.
According to "Development of Japanese green tea industry"(1983), "As a research result, tea plant in Hiyoshi was not Chinese oriented.

It is considered that Japanese oriented teas were planted because Chinese oriented teas were withered or is it a native Japanese tea plant."

The book verified the teas that planted in Kanto were native Japanese green tea or Chinese oriented. Folklorist Kunio Yanagida mentioned in his book

"It has been said that tea were brought back from China by priest, however this theory is half wrong. Native tea were planted in center of Japan however, Japanese did not know to decoct and drink its green tea."

Here it is stressed that there were native green teas before priest Eizai defused green tea by book"Kisa youjouki" in 12th century.

Priest Eizai connected samurai hegemony Genie family in order to defused Zen shu and spreaded teas.

By the way, the teas from this period to 17th century were powdered tea not present decocts tea.

In the book "Kisa Youjouki"actively quoted passage and described tea's plantation, production, storage, how to drink from from Chinese books.

After the period of Saicho,Kukai,Eityu and high nobles in the Heian period, Priest Eizai connected with the Genjji Samurai society and spread Zen Buddhism and tea.

After that, tea and Samurai society were connected and invent tea game

"To-cha" This game is that Samurai tasted teas in many areas and guessed produced areas.

Tou-cha is described in 4 return letters "Kisa-orai". From 13th century to 16th century, Since Samurai society established and created its culture, Tou-cha game disappeared and tea became new formed and brand new culture.

That is Chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony).
Through this period, tea tools (tea cup) began to be produced in Hoshino, Seto and General Asikaga encourage tea plantation as a result many tea gardens established.

In same period of priest Eizai (12th century), the rule book of Tofuku temple,made from the book "Zen en seiki" that Syouitikokusi imported from China and ruled priest life, contains rule of tea ceremony.

These tea manners are origin of Japanese tea ceremony. Tea manners are defused in 1326.
Tea shops began to be opened in 1423.

Wabi cha derived from reformation of Tou-cha. Syoko Mural established Wabi-cha , tea and Zen in a body, in 15th century.

That work was inherited to Syouou Takeno's simplization of Japanese tea ceremony.
"Many people discussed and defined but it means honest and modest."

In 1580th, Sen Rikyu finally established Japanese tea ceremony.
Japanese tea ceremony, that completed by 3 people's hands, expresses Japanese aesthetic sense from Zen. In this way, Japanese culture "tea ceremony" flourished.

This story written before is a powdered tea. Tea was introduced to Japan and some people were able to taste it. Ordinary people can enjoy Japanese green tea after when Sencha (decocted tea) production method invented in 17th century.

bBeginningborigin of Japanese green teabEdo periodbMeiji periodbBefore world warbAfter world warbkinds of Japanese green teabJapanese green tea production areasbJapanese green tea productionb Judgemant of Japanese green teab Japanese green tea distributionbJapanese green tea consumptionbvarious Japanese green teabJapanese tea and componentsbJapanese green tea and sciencebnew teasb how to drink Japanese green tea deliciouslybJapanese green tea tradebJapanese green tea bibliographyb