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Word Count: 1,486
Japanese Tea Ceremony Preparing for the Ceremony Chaji is a full tea presentation with a meal As in virtually every tea ceremony the host may spend days going over last minute details to insure that this ceremony will be perfect Through tea recognition is given that every human encounter is a singular occasion that can and will never recur again exactly Thus every aspect of tea must be savored for what it gives the participants The ceremony takes place in a room designed and designated for tea It is called the chashitsu Usually this room is within the teahouse located away from the residence in the garden The guests four is the preferred number are shown into the machiai waiting room Here the hanto assistant to the host offers them sayu the hot water which will be used to make tea While here the guests choose one of their group to act as the main guest The hanto then leads the guests main guest directly behind to a water sprinkled garden devoid of flowers It is called roji dew ground Here the guests rid themselves of the dust of the world They then seat themselves on the koshikake machiai waiting bench anticipating the approach of the host who has the official title teishu house master Just before receiving the guests the teishu fills the tsukubai stone basin which is set among low stones with fresh water Taking a ladle of water the teishu purifies his hands and mouth then proceeds through the chumon middle gate to welcome his guests with a bow No words are spoken The teishu leads the hanto the main guest and the others in that order through the chumon which symbolizes door between the coarse physical world and the spititual world of tea The guests and hanto purify themselves at the tsukubai and enter the teahouse The sliding door is only thirty-six
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