Our tearoom design is inspired by a room once used by Sen no Rikyu (played be the actor to the right), the most famous tea master in Japan. He was forced to commit seppuku (ceremonial disembowelment) by his then patron, the warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi (to the left in the scene).
Taian, a tea house in Kyoto once used by tea master Sen no Rikyu.
It may seem odd that a tea master had to commit such a grisly act to end his life. As ... puts it, "to be politically powerful at this time also meant that you had to show that you had some sort of cultural sophistication as well."
As Layla Leplett wrote for NPR, "in the late 16th century. During this tumultuous time of civil war, two leading generals — Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi — unified much of Japan. Both used tea ceremonies as a political tool in this process: They awarded tea wares for victories on the battlefield, and the tea room was used as a space for liaising and negotiations.
Tea masters — men who, over the years, had mastered the intricate choreography of preparing and serving the tea — wielded significant influence."
Hyōge Mono (lit. "Jocular Fellow") is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Yamada. It won an Excellence Prize for manga at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival and the Grand Prize at the 2010 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.
Writes blogger Vendredi for fungafufu: "The political importance of the tea ceremony is brought out [...] strongly in [the second] episode – we learn that Sasuke [Furuta Oribe] has been able to marry into a much wealthier family due to his talent at navigating the complex etiquette behind the tea ceremony; etiquette that is lost on his brother-in-law.
Historically, many noble traditions and protocols evolve by nature to be exclusionary and unintuitive, and the Japanese tea ceremony is no exception – Sasuke's ability is, therefore, a big asset to his new extended family in terms of opening up opportunities and chances to meet with those of higher station."
"[Furuta] is known for establishing the Oribe school of the Japanese tea ceremony and the associated Oribe style of teaware, but was later put to death as a traitor by the Tokuwaga Shogunate."
It seems like lovers of tea were all cursed and met a horrible death...
Before Hideyoshi Toyotomi Oda Nobunaga was Sen no Rikyu's patron. Nobunaga was ambushed at a temple in Kyoto (pictured above). His dream of unifying the country went up in ashes in the burning temple along with a treasure trove of priceless tea bowls and tea utensils his party had been carrying.
"[On June 21, 1582], before dawn, the Akechi army had the temple surrounded in a coup. Nobunaga and his servants and bodyguards resisted, but they realized it was futile against the overwhelming numbers of Akechi troops. Nobunaga committed suicide; reportedly, his last words were, "Ran, don't let them come in ..." (Referring to his young page, Mori Ranmaru who set the temple on fire as Nobunaga requested so that no one would be able to get his head). Ranmaru then followed suit."
The concept of this VR experience in Rec Room is a free interpretation of what Furuta Oribe may have seen in a dream. The warlord and tea master became famous for a new style of pottery that celebrated irregular shapes like the dish here above.
Oribe's teacher in the tea ceremony was Sen no Rikyū. He became the foremost tea master in the land after Rikyū's death and taught this art to the shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada. Oribe reportedly went to any length to introduce irregular shapes in pottery is a style named after him. Oribe ware is a type of Japanese stoneware recognized by its freely-applied glaze as well as its dramatic visual departure from the more sombre, monochrome shapes and vessels common in Raku ware of the time. The ceramics were often asymmetrical, embracing the eccentricity of randomized shapes. Deformed shapes were not at all uncommon. Sometimes, bowls were so deformed that they became difficult to use- whisking tea could even become a difficult task.
During the Osaka Campaign of 1615, Oribe was forced to plot in Kyoto against the Tokugawa and the Emperor, on behalf of the defenders of Osaka. After this event, Oribe was ordered to commit suicide (seppuku), along with his son.