Sekishu- Isa school - the tea masters for
the Tokugawa Shogun
The Sekishu-Isa school of Bukesado – the samurai tea ceremony - was established in 1665 by Katagiri Sekishu during the reign of the 4th Tokugawa Shogun, Ietsuna. With its origins in Zen, the Sekishu-Isa tea ceremony aims to cultivate the spirit to reflect on oneself and be natural with a sincere heart as distinct from “the art of tea making” as an amusement.
Through the tea ceremony, Samurai learned how to discipline their mind and it formed part of the training required for samurai to teach them to strive for virtue when they perform their duties as statesmen and administrators during the Edo period.
The Sekishu-Isa school continued to be in charge of the Shogun’s tearoom for more than 200 years and became the “Tea of Edo Castle.” Following the end of the Tokugawa government in 1867, the Sekishu-Isa tea ceremony continued to be passed on through the generations, maintaining the original principles of the samurai tea ceremony for over 300 years.
Today, there are over 30 schools in Japan derived from Sekishu, each based on a different tradition, but Sekishu-Isa is the school that still faithfully preserves the original style of the Samurai tea ceremony in Edo.