Seichū Sōshitsu (1810-77) 精中 宗室
During his time the Meiji government wanted to label tea as a past time instead of an art form. Gengensai convinced them otherwise.
This letter is copied from “Tea and Buddhism” by Ryofu Pussel.
The original intent of the Way of Tea is to install loyalty, filial piety, and the Five Constant Virtues [benevolence, sincerity, righteousness, wisdom, and trust]; to uphold modesty, propriety, and frugality;…[to promote] service toward the peace and well.being of the realm; to have people treat one another with no distinction of closeness or distance, wealth or poverty; and to revere divine providence for the sake and health and longevity of generations to come. Because [tea] is a path with these tenets, strictly formally regulated tea gathering must be recognized as the sincerest form of activity that can be performed without harming the five parts of the body. The import of all these ideas is present within even the humblest thin tea service. Not in clothing, food, or shelter, Nor in utensils or gardens, No excess of food of any kind, So that by sincere practice. The taste of tea shines through.
Koko-dana – Square tana with three shelves. Either black lacquer with red edges on the shelves or paulownia wood.