Murata Jukō

The townsman Murata Jukou aka Shukou (1421-1502) of Nara, the early developer of wabi-style chanoyu. ‘Til his era, artistic living is monopolized by Chinese art objects, but now relatively unsophisticated Japanese crafts gain appreciation. Commercial centers Kyoto, Nara, Sakai develop; affluent townsmen enjoy cultural hobbies such as noh and chanoyu.

He was obsessed with gambling in Tocha, so much so that he was sent away from his Shomyo-ji Buddhist temple in Nara. He was later accepted as disiple by Ikkyuu Zenji who encouraged him to find Satori through practice of humble tea. Thus Ikkyuu encourage Jukō to find zen within tea.

According to Yamanoue Soji Ki Jukō became tea master for Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1435-1490). As part of his duties he instructed Naomi in his new form of tea. However the validity of this claim is doubtful as Jukō is not found in any of the other records in connection to the shogun that one would expect to find him. Through conjecture one might think Jukō relationship with Naomi was that of a student and not of a teacher.

He developed the first Yo Jo Han which has become the standard size later. He started using a thatched tea hut, with a simple tea garden and using simple Japanese utensils. He is also the first to use a Ro in tea. His tea bacame known as Souan-style tea. He might also be the first to use a zen calligraphy in stead of a set of paintings in tokonoma. He used his scroll by Yüan-wu, that he had received from his teacher Ikkyu.

He starter the development of wabicha, that was continued by Takeno Jōō and Sen Rikyū

He wrote “Letters of heart´s Mastery” ca 1488


I do not like the moon in a cloudless sky.

As answer to why he made such small tea rooms.

any discrimination between oneself and the others vanishes, the virtue of gentleness prevail, and a new mutual understanding can be found.

How engaging is the sight of a fine steed tethered at a thatched hut! (In other words, it is good to place a maibutsu in a roughhewn interior, the atmosphere then becomes all the more evocative)

Let you mannen be natural and unobtrusive… Upon entering the tearoom, it is important above all else that both host and guest compose themselves in a frame of mind completely free of extraneous thoughts; this attitude should be harbored within and not manifested outwardly.

Become heart´s master, not heart mastered. Jukō attributed it to the ancient.