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茶緣 is a special title for the tea lover. This kind of means “tea fate,” but it's more spiritual and hard to define. Perhaps the tea brought you in to drink it. Perhaps the tea will bring you and another tea-lover together. Perhaps you were already there, and the tea came to you. Perhaps it's the ah-ha moment you will have when drinking the tea.
I've been told not to explain this further, as it will either dilute or confuse the purposefully-ambiguous idea embedded in this enigma.
I happen to be the owner of a piece of calligraphy written by either the son or nephew of the last emperor of China, which is the title he wrote. It was given to me at a Beijing tea house in 2001. 茶緣 is where I learned to love tea after literally spending weeks tasting and studying everything I could about Chinese tea. I did not understand the significance of the authorship or the meaning of the title at all. Some 10 years later, I realized the gift was so profound and had such providence. Only now do I realize the value of a gift that it is too late to give proper thanks for. It was also years later that I ended up in this business and could have the artwork properly mounted as a wall scroll. It has been borrowed for many exhibitions and shows and always amazes native Chinese and Taiwanese who read the signature. This piece of calligraphy I once thought was just a bit of ink on a thin and wrinkled piece of paper, is now one of my most valued possessions. And fate has taught me to be more thankful for seemingly simple gifts.
Wa Kei Sei Jaku
和, 敬, 清, 寂 or Wa, Kei, Sei, Jaku are the principles of the way of tea or 茶道.
The meanings are:
Harmony 和 (wa).
Respect 敬 (kei).
Purity 清 (sei).
Tranquility 寂 (jaku).
These principles or tenets were created by tea master Sen Rikyu (1522-1591). More about these ideas: Chanoyu
茶道 means The Way of Tea (literally, “tea way”) in Chinese and Japanese.
This may refer to a tea ceremony or a general lifestyle of tea preparation and drinking.
In Japanese, this can be pronounced sadō or chadō (seems that sadō refers more often to a tea ceremony, and chadō when it's the Way of Tea).
茶道 is also used in the Buddhist context with the same meaning as the Way of Tea.
茶 means tea. It can refer to prepared tea (ready-to-drink) or dry tea leaves.
The origin of tea is China but the same character is used in Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja with the exact same meaning. Japanese and Korean even borrowed the pronunciation from Chinese (pronounced “cha” in all three languages).
It's said that an early doctor (or herbologist) in ancient China kept poisoning himself as he tried different new herb concoctions. He invented tea as a means to detoxify himself as he recovered from 1 of the 76 times he nearly poisoned himself to death. Tea is seen not just as a drink but as a form of medicine used to remove impurities from the body.
The word “chai” (used in many languages to refer to various teas) is derived from this Chinese word.
茶 also means camellia, as Asian teas are often based on the leaves of camellia plant varieties.
カメリア is the name Camellia in Japanese.
This sounds like Camellia, but does not mean the camellia plant or leaf.
Instead of these characters, you may want to go with the name of the plant. Of course, camellia also means tea, as varieties of camellia plants provide the leaves for many kinds of Chinese and Japanese teas.
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|chá yuán / cha2 yuan2 / cha yuan / chayuan||ch`a yüan / chayüan / cha yüan|
|Elements of the Tea Ceremony||和敬清寂||wa kei sei jaku|
|The Way of Tea||茶道||cha dou / chadou / cha do||chá dào / cha2 dao4 / cha dao / chadao||ch`a tao / chatao / cha tao|
|Tea||茶||cha||chá / cha2 / cha||ch`a / cha|
|tí yà / ti2 ya4 / ti ya / tiya||t`i ya / tiya / ti ya|
|cha tsubo / chatsubo||chá hú / cha2 hu2 / cha hu / chahu||ch`a hu / chahu / cha hu|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Tea Kanji, Tea Characters, Tea in Mandarin Chinese, Tea Characters, Tea in Chinese Writing, Tea in Japanese Writing, Tea in Asian Writing, Tea Ideograms, Chinese Tea symbols, Tea Hieroglyphics, Tea Glyphs, Tea in Chinese Letters, Tea Hanzi, Tea in Japanese Kanji, Tea Pictograms, Tea in the Chinese Written-Language, or Tea in the Japanese Written-Language.
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