Hello Kitty: a tea ceremony with Japan’s Minister

May 4, 2015

Hello Kitty joined the tea ritual as the Official Ambassador of the pavilion for Expo 2015 and a testimonial of Japanese Culture, alongside Japan’s Minister of Agriculture Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Expo Commissioner Bruno Pasquino.

The tea ceremony is one of Japan’s most fascinating traditions, regarded as highly as calligraphy, painting or poetry.
Every gesture, every movement is extremely sacred and spiritual in nature, leading attendees on an introspective, personal quest.
During the ceremony, 4 fundamental principles need to be fulfilled: harmony, purity, respect and serenity.

The type of tea used for the ceremony isn’t the usual leafy tea to be soaked in hot water: it’s a blend of tea characterized by its vivid green color, which is finely pulverized and dissolved in hot water with a bamboo whisk.

The result is Maccha, a thick and slightly foamy drink with a bitter flavor that makes it different from common tea.
For this reason, something sweet to attenuate the bitterness is offered before the tea. The mug, strictly made of raku ceramic, is decorated with elements that recall nature. After serving the tea, the mug is turned 45 degrees with the palm of the
hand 3 times before drinking, in accordance with tradition. This allows the inner decoration to face the individual preparing the drink and the outer decoration to face the guest.