A memoir about my mother who was an ocha (tea ceremony) teacher would be published in upcoming Eye-Ai magazine.
We were like an abortionist and anti-abortionist living in the same house. We fought until her death because of ocha. Her unrelenting passion for the art still haunts me, but she was never boring.
I think the term, tea ceremony, was probably defined by westerners. Ocha is not ceremony although most people see it as ceremonious. I think it is a very active performance art, and like theater, it is multi-faceted. In a typical ocha gathering at my house, participants drank light tea with dry sweets, had a small cup of sake, ate meals, and ate a beautifully shaped bean cake and drank thick tea, and guests as well as performers performed. They went in to the ocha room and out to the garden many times, so it took almost all day including cleaning afterward. My mother was a great leader, so the participants competed among them to help her, and they all cleaned my house well before they left. They were extremely careful handling utensils, so almost nothing was broken. In a traditional ocha, there is no audience but guests, and they all participate and really work hard.