The Seishin-an Tea House is designed to promote harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. It is modeled after the sōan (literally, “grass hut”) style tea house, which is a small tea house that is unpretentious and rustic by design. Seishin-an is a little larger than a typical sōan tea room to allow both sōan and hiroma (large-room) style tea ceremonies.
The tea house was designed by Sō’on Yamamoto, a local teacher from the Omote-Senke tea school, in consultation with Eko Yamashita, an Omote-Senke grand master and abbot of Kōetsuji, a Kyōto temple known for its concentration of 16th- and 17th-century tea houses. The name Seishin-an (“pure-forest retreat”), was chosen by 14th-generation Omote-Senke headmaster Jimyōsai Sen, in part because the written Japanese character mori, from the name of George Morikami, is pronounced as shin in Seishin-an. Construction was generously funded by the Grimes Foundation, and was completed by master carpenter, Seiji Suzuki.
About Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony (called cha-no-yu, sadō, or chadō in Japanese) incorporates strict etiquette, which serves as the foundation of its choreographed movements, and gives the experience its overall form and aesthetic. Participants are meant to involve all of the senses and experience a serene feeling of spiritual discipline, harmony and tranquility.
There are many schools of tea ceremony, but here at Morikami guests will experience the Omote-Senke style. The Omote-Senke school is one of three san-senke schools whose founding tea master is Sen no Rikyū. Each school has subtle stylistic differences, and varying techniques, but the Omote-senke school is distinguished by its tea whisking style and the thin foam created by this technique. On select Saturdays, visitors are invited to observe the peace and quietude of this traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Morikami also offers tea ceremony classes and workshops in the Omote-Senke style.