Tea Museum
Japanese green tea museum

In Meiji period-completion of Sencha production method and export

In Meiji period (1868-1912), many tea productions and business book published and production technic was greatly advanced. Although steaming is done by hand not by machine, however advanced production method brings to serve almost present day's tea. Japanese green tea, as completion of production method, massively exported to overseas. At that time, silk material and Japanese green tea was Japanese leading export products. In this section, through tea books published in Meiji period (1868-1912) we look advance of production method and export.
"Kaitoryu-Sencha-seizouho"(Kaitouryu tea production method) ,Kanju atsusita, (Ogasa cho Ogasa gun Sizuoka prefecture, 1890, National Library)

Kanju Matsusita served rubbing teacher Tamasaburo Akahori and after Akahori's death, Matsusita inherited tea production method and improved it, then created Kaitoryu.

How to make fire, how to steam tea leaves, how to rub, first rubbing second rubbing, final rubbing are described in this book.This method is middle quality tea production method. Therefore, it is written that except tea appearance, this method produces true tea and core of this method production (Kaitoryu) is cooling down by rubbing on hearth. "Kairyo-Sencha-ho"(Improved tea production method) Icizo Saito (Abe gun, Sizuoka prefecture, 1907, National library)

It is written that tea is not Japanese oriented but India, China oriented and in order to compete these area's teas, Japanese produce superior Japanese green tea. Saito written tea production method comes from his many experiences and described tea garden improvement, how to handle tea leaves, how to construct tea hearth, drying, improved tea production, how to handle manure.

"Tea plantation" Sin Sugita

It is written that this book is tea production for export. Also tea business management is written. In production section, Sugita described management of 100ha tea garden and reproduction of export tea as well as tea production.

"Seicha-tebiki"(Tea production guidebook)

Juken Nagatani (Grand son of Sencha founder Souen Nagatani) Nagatani described tea garden cultivation, menure, tea production.

"Cha seike-hikkei" ( Tea business man hand book) Seizaemon Tanaka (Airaku gun Kyoto-fu ,1886, National library)

It is written in preface that Japanese most important export product, Japanese green tea price was better than before because of quality improvement and we had to improve Japanese green tea further and spreaded Japanese beauty to overseas.

Tanaka described how to pluck tea, how to steam, how to dry, how to preserve, how to adjust overseas needs,reproduction, comparison of original production tea, break even calculation of old leaves and new leaves.

This book shows how tea man in Meiji period(1868-1912) was enthusiastic to produce tea. "Ryokucha-seizouhou"(Green tea production method) Tyosaku Ezawa (Simada-si Sizuoka prefecture, 1891, National library)

It is written that haw to rub Tenkaichi tea, etc, how to rub Gykuro tea, tea production, preservation, reproduction, how to make box for export.

"Seicha Zukai"( Tea production illustration) Hikone-han (Hikone state,1872)

Before the abolition of clans and establishment of prefectures, Hikone-han wrote tea production with illustration for normal farmers in order to develop tea agriculture.

"Seicha-sinsetu" (Tea production new theory) Juseki Matsuda

"Seicha-sinsetsu" published two years after Hikone-han had published "Seicha-zukai".

Like "Seicha-zukai", it is written in illustration in order to understand easily.

It is described tea crops, how to sow tea crops, how to recognize sex of tea tree, how to cultivate tea tree, how to pluck tea leaves, manure, tea production method, covered tea production, prevention for insects.

In this way, Many tea books were published and almost present Sencha tea was completed.

In the mean time, teas were exported massively to overseas (mainly US).

In 1878, almost teas on Japanese distribution channel were exported and the quantity of tea export was twice that of tea export from China.

In 1884, Kenzo Takahashi invented steaming machine and heating machine as well as friction machine.
15 years later he invented rubbing machine and brought quasi machine production to Japanese green tea industry.

1890, Japanese green tea industry opened tea shop in Paris global exhibition.


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