The Spring of the Instructor was once an important source of water in the ancient town of Jingling. Pure and clear, the spring was discovered long ago by a venerated monk, and for hundreds of years thereafter its waters were used to brew tea at the nearby monastery. As the basic medium for making tea, the spring’s sweet water was essential and preferred for its purity, clarity, and taste. According to tradition, the Tang tea master Lu Yü drew water from the spring as a boy. Many sources of fine water were credited to Lu Yü during his lifetime, but the spring at Jingling was plainly identified with his adolescence, giving it precedence above all others in the shaping of his taste and ideas on tea. Lu Yü later used the knowledge he gathered from his early time at the spring to write the Chajing 茶經, the Book of Tea. From the late Tang dynasty through the twentieth century until today, the site of the spring was ornamented with pavilions and halls to commemorate the Book and life of Lu Yü, the Sage of Tea.
Lu Yü 陸羽 was born in 733 but abandoned at the age of two, when he was found near the Longgai si 龍盖寺 temple by Zhiji 智積, the abbot of the Chan Buddhist Monastery of the Hidden Dragon. As a novitiate, Lu Yü did chores for his teacher, including fetching water to make the abbot’s tea. Longgai Temple was built on an island in the middle of Xihu 西湖, West Lake, a fair and abundant body of water and ample for the needs of the monastery. But, brewing fine tea required the fresh water from the spring. According to temple lore, the spring was first excavated by the revered monk-philosopher Zhidun 支遁 in the Jin dynasty. Thus from the fourth century through the Tang, the source was linked to the venerable Zhidun, and the boy Lu Yü likely knew the source as Zhigong jing 支公井, the Well of Master Zhi. Following the late Tang, however, the well was then called Wenxüe qüan 文學泉, Spring of the Instructor, in honor of Lu Yü. How he became known as the Instructor is a curious story, one full of irony and simple courage.
After leaving Jingling, Lu Yü devoted himself solely to the pursuit of scholarship and tea, disdaining office to live an impoverished but lofty life unencumbered by duties, rank, or title. He eventually moved to Huzhou, a town on the southern shore of Lake Tai where he lived until he died around 804. Aloof and reclusive, Lu Yü was nonetheless so well respected that he garnered imperial titles and influential friends despite his solitary nature. In 772, Lu Yü met the new prefect of Huzhou, the great scholar and calligrapher Yan Zhenqing 顏真卿. For five years, the two men collaborated on cultural and building projects, meeting together at literary gatherings and composing poetry at numerous places in and around Huzhou. In 777, Yan Zhenqing was recalled to the capital where he was awarded numerous ministerial posts at court. Yan was promoted to Grand Preceptor to the Heir Apparent in 780, and it was likely at that time when he advised the throne to appoint Lu Yü to the position of Taizi wenxüe 太子文學, Instructor to the Heir Apparent. But in defiance of the imperial order, Lu Yü boldly declined the office, refusing the emperor and staying true to his eremitic character. The audacious move made Lu Yü all the more esteemed among his admirers, and for the rest of his life he was known as Wenxüe 文學, the title that later inspired the rechristening of the spring at Jingling as the Spring of the Instructor.
Wenxüe qüan 文學泉, Spring of the Instructor, was originally located just beyond the north gate of the defensive moat and walls that surrounded old Jingling. Today, the spring sits on an island in the middle of Guanchi 官池, the Pond of the Official, a small lagoon that stretches east and west along Wenxüe qüan Road 文學泉路 between West and East lakes. A zigzag bridge crosses over the pond from shore to island.
The wellhead is octagonal and comprised of a divided capstone pierced by three holes. Because of its resemblance to the written character pin 品, the well was known by the literary name Pinzi qüan 品字泉, the Pin Character Spring. Among townsfolk, the source was commonly called the Well of Three Eyes, Sanyan jing 三眼井. By the late ninth century, however, the source was referred to as Luzi jing 陸子井, the Well of Master Lu, as well as Spring of the Instructor. Over time, the spring was disused and forgotten.
In 1540, the Ming official Ke Qiao 柯喬 searched everywhere for the spring, but finding no trace of it he built instead a pavilion and a brick lined well at the old monastery, Hidden Dragon Temple. In 1559, the magistrate Qiu Yi 丘宜 ordered the reconstruction of Jingling defenses and found an old well just outside the north gate at the northwest corner of the old town wall. The well was about nine feet across and over a hundred feet deep and contained a broken stele incised with the characters Zhigong 支公, an engraving that referred to the fourth century monk Zhidun. The rediscovery of the spring sparked a celebration of the site for the next five hundred years.
In 1726, the town of Jingling 竟陵 was renamed Tianmen 天門 in deference to the imperial site Jingling 景陵, the mausoleum of the Kangxi emperor. In ancient times, Jingling grew up between the lakes Xihu 西湖 and Donghu 東胡 on the west and east sides of town. Jingling 竟陵 literally means “end of hills,” that is to say, a flat plain with no hills at all that extends eastward about sixty-five miles to the city of Wuhan 武漢 in Hubei province 湖北省. In the Qing dynasty, the name changed from Jingling to Tianmen 天門 after the Tianmen Mountain range 天門山 to the northwest of the town. To the south of town, the Tianmen River 天門河 flows east to join the tributaries of the Yangzi at Wuhan.
In 1768, the Qing official Ma Shiwei 馬士偉 built a pavilion on the site during which a stele was found engraved with the characters Wenxüe 文學 or Instructor which alluded to Lu Yü. Also found was a wellhead of three holes below which flowed the spring. In 1782, the Hanbi tang 涵碧堂 or Hall of Jade Green Waters was constructed, and in the following year pavilions named Deyüe lou 得月樓, Catching the Moon, and Wenxüe qüan ge 文學泉閣, Spring of the Instructor Hall, were built. In 1783, the official Chen Dawen 陳大文ordered carved two stelae which were installed within the pavilion: one entitled Lu Yü xiang bei ji 陸羽像碑記 contained a posthumous portrait of Lu Yü that is known as Tang Chushi Lu Yü Hongjian xiaoxiang 唐處士陸羽鴻漸小像; the second stone was engraved Wenxüe qüan 文學泉 and carved on the reverse with Pincha zhenji 品茶真跡, Genuine Traces of the Connoisseurship of Tea. In 1939, the Qing buildings were destroyed during the Japanese invasion. In 1957, a visit by Premier Zhou Enlai 周恩來 prompted restoration of the site. In 1961, the site was given the status of a protected cultural treasure but was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. In 1981, the Lu Yü Pavilion 陸羽亭 was constructed, and in 2003 the Hall of Jade Green Waters 涵碧堂 was built.
Tianmen is currently undertaking massive development of Xihu 西湖 and Donghu 東胡 into grand water parks studded with gates, bridges, storied pavilions, halls, causeways, paths, and gardens. Xihu also features Lu Yü gongyüan 陸羽公園, a commemorative park on the lake’s western shore comprised of several sites historically associated with Lu Yü: Lu Yü Memorial Hall 陸羽紀念館; Ancient Geese Bridge 古雁橋; Lu Yü Shrine 陸公祠; and Hongjian Storied Pavilion 鴻漸樓 which houses displays and memorials to the tea master’s life and work.
The offices of the China International Tea Culture Institute 中國國際茶文化研究會 and the Lu Yü Tea Classic Research Center 陸羽茶經研究中心 are close by at No. 79, Wenxüe qüan Road 文學泉路. Just east of the Institute and Center are the renovations of the Pond of the Official 官池 and the site of the Spring of the Instructor 文學泉, which are integral parts of the greater Jingling project.
The word tsiology is a nineteenth century expression. Rare and obscure, tsiology was said to mean “a scientific dissertation on tea.” As a term, tsiology was expressly coined in 1826 for a polemical account published that very year in London. In keeping with the expository style of titles of the time, the name of the book ran on at some length: Tsiology: A Discourse on Tea. Being an account of that exotic, botanical, chymical, commercial and medical, with notices of its adulteration, the means of its detection, Tea making, with a brief history of The East India Company, etc. The small, one volume book was written by an English author who anonymously and simply referred to himself as “A Tea Dealer.” In addition to being an exposition on tea, Tsiology was a defense of the East India Company monopoly and a critique of not only escalating government tariffs but also of fraudulent schemes disrupting the domestic tea trade. Tsiology temporarily attracted London readers with its facade of scholarship, the book surviving three editions printed over a year or so. While the book raised several important and timely issues about the British trade, the term tsiology never gained acceptance as an expression of tea, and indeed it all but vanished from literary as well as spoken English.
Possible reasons for the failure of the word to take hold included the fact that the meaning of tsiology was never explained in the book. Indeed, the word appeared in just the title and not at all in the text. Moreover, tsiology possessed a distinctly affected and questionably foreign character. By way of elucidation, the Oxford English Dictionary defined tsiology in 1933, endowing Tsiology the treatise with a “scientific” guise and labeling tsiology an ad hoc or nonce word; that is to say, a figure of speech created to meet a need that was not expected to recur. The OED noted further that tsiology was derived from the obsolete root word tsia meaning tea.
Cha 茶 and Tsia
Tsia was an early Western attempt to replicate cha, the Chinese and Japanese pronunciation of the written character 茶 for tea. Prior to its introduction from Asia in the seventeenth century, Europe possessed little knowledge of tea and therefore had no word for the plant or leaf. The spelling of the sound cha depended on the practices and peculiarities of the European language employed. Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy variously used cha, ch’a, chá, chia, cia, or cià, while the Netherlands and Germany used t’cha, tsja, tsjaa, or tsia. A further complication arose when Western merchants in Asia learned that cha or tea was also referred to as te, a fact that spurred the European production of words like tay, té, tè, tea, thea, the, and thé. Confusion over the naming of tea endured in Europe for nearly two centuries. In 1712, the German naturalist and physician Engelbert Kaempfer observed in Exotic Pleasures that tea had no common Western name that represented the plant, herbal leaf, or drink:
“The Tea, which is by the Japanese call’d Tsjaa, and by the Chinese Théh, hath, as yet, no character of its own, in the learned language of the country, and approved of by the universities; I mean one of those, which, at once give some idea of the very nature of the things express’d by them. Mean while, various other characters have been given to it; some of which merely express the sound of the word, others allude to the virtues and description of the Plant.”
The first known instance of tsia for tea was used in A True Description of the Mighty Kingdom of Japan, a book published in 1636 and written for the Dutch East India Company by François Caron who described a multitude of Japanese customs, including the household:
“As for interior décor in the open rooms of their home, there is no furniture, lacquers, boxes, nor cabinets. Furnishings are found in the private rooms, those where there is no access except for close friends and relatives: bowls and containers for tsia [tea], small paintings, calligraphies, swords, such are the primary works of art and curiosities they possess. They must have the most beautiful and most costly, each according to his means.”
Although born in Brussels to French Huguenot parents, François Caron was raised and educated in the Netherlands, joining the Dutch East India Company at age nineteen and shipping out to Japan in 1619 as a cabin boy. He learned Japanese and represented the company factory at Hirado in trade negotiations with the shogunal administration. In his twenty years in Japan, he rose to become chief factor and oversaw the transfer of the mission to Deshima, Nagasaki in 1641. Soon thereafter, while at the Dutch base at Batavia, he was elected a member of the governing council of the East India Company in Asia; he then sailed to Holland as commander of the returning fleet, a prestigious and highly lucrative rank. When he reached Amsterdam, his book on Japan had already been in print for six years.
Caron applied his linguistic skills to the writing of True Description. Utilizing Dutch and Japanese, he originated the Western word tsia for tea; employing French, he then fostered the term thé for tea as well. While describing ceramics used in chanoyu茶の湯, the Japanese art of tea, he referred to the leaf as thé and indeed treated thé as interchangeable with tsia: “A small box for thé called Naraissiba. A large jar for thé called Stengo.” His book circulated from the Netherlands throughout Europe for over twenty-five years before it was published in English in 1662. By establishing tsia and thé as alternate words for tea early on, François Caron long influenced the Western lexis and the writing of later European works concerning tea.
Tsia next occurred in 1656 and then in 1658, the latter appearance of the word being among the final pages of The Description of the Oriental Travels of the Respectably Well-Born Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo, a travelogue in German that included accounts of the Coromandel Coast, Bengal, Siam, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Bantam, the Philippines, Taiwan, China, and Japan. The author Mandelslo remarked on the Japanese custom of receiving visitors with “Taback und Tsia,” that is to say, tobacco and tea.
Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo was a young German aristocrat at the ducal court of Holstein-Gottorp. In 1633, at age seventeen, he accompanied an official trade mission to Russia and Persia, and while in Isfahan he experienced his first sip of tea. After five years of travel, he parted company with the mission to continue his adventure, making his way through India as far as the port of Surat, all the while noting the “countries, provinces, cities, and islands” of the East Indies. On the voyage home, he stopped in England and crossing the channel made his way to France where he joined a regiment of horse, rising to the rank of cavalry officer. Late in 1644, on his way to Paris for the winter, he fell ill and died of smallpox. According to his will of 1638, he left his writings to Adam Olearius.
Olearius was librarian and mathematician to the duke of Holstein-Gottrop and knew Mandelslo when the younger man was a page at court. As secretary to the same trade mission to Moscow and Isfahan of which Mandelslo was a member, Olearius published a report on the embassy entitled Description of Travels to Moscow and Persia, an account that incorporated Mandelslo’s writings. Printed in 1647, the compilation was translated into Dutch, French, English, and Italian and became known as Olearius’s most famous work. But of all the foreign renditions made during Olearius’s lifetime, the French translation of 1656 by Abraham de Wicquefort enlarged the original book to its greatest extent.
Abraham de Wicquefort was a Dutch scholar whose linguistic and diplomatic talents claimed the patronage of the French and German high aristocracy. During his residence in Paris for the Elector of Brandenburg, he was closely connected to the House of Condé and Cardinal Mazarin, Chief Minister of France for whom he collected rare books. He personally experienced tea in the salons of the French aristocracy and ruling class: tea was habitually drunk as beverage by the chancellor of France Pierre Séguier; and Mazarin used infusions or decoctions of the leaf to treat his gout.
Wicquefort was a gifted translator and created in French a supplemented version of the 1647 report written by Olearius. According to his preface of 1656, Wicquefort augmented Description of Travels to Moscow and Persia with extracts, quotations, and paraphrases from numerous sources, greatly enhancing the original with informative and intriguing bits scattered throughout the work, all with the approval of Olearius.
Tsia and Thé
For his French translation, Wicquefort was partial to the remarks on tea made by François Caron in A True Description of the Mighty Kingdom of Japan and cribbed from the Dutchman’s description on Japanese interior décor as well as the two ceramics Naraissiba and Stengo, which mentioned the herb in the form of either Tsia or Thé. And although he was not credited, Wicquefort likely influenced the posthumous publication of Mandelslo’s notes that Olearius finally produced two years later as an independent book in 1658, wherein extractions from Caron’s work were acknowledged: “Extract aus Relation Francois Caron…Anno 1638 [sic].”
With his bibliographic expertise and access to several of the finest private libraries in Europe, Wicquefort was an erudite editor and skillful writer. His reworking of Olearius’s book provided instances of Wicquefort’s knowledge of tea that no doubt included Jesuit writings from Japan and their detailed descriptions of chanoyu. In the science of the period, naturalists began making distinctions between Chinese and Japanese tea: “Chinensibus The, Japonensibus Tsia.” Condensing what he gleaned from his extensive readings, Wicquefort boldly offered a definition of tea based on perceived qualitative differences concerning the thé of China and the tsia of Japan: “As for Tsia, it is a kind of Thé; but the plant is much more delicate, and more highly esteemed than that of Thé.”
In 1662, Abraham de Wicquefort’s French edition of Description of Travels to Moscow and Persia was translated into English by John Davies of Kidwelly who rendered Wicquefort’s further descriptions of Japanese tea:
“Persons of quality keep it very carefully in earthen pots, well stopp’d and luted, that it may not take wind: but the Japanese prepare it quite otherwise then is done in Europe. For, instead of infusing it into warm water, they beat it as small as powder, and take of it as much as will lie on the point of a knife, and put it into a dish of Porcelane or Earth, full of seething water, in which they stir it, till the water be all green, then drink it, as hot as they can endure it. It is excellent good after a debauch, it being certain there is not any thing that allyes the vapours, and settles the stomack better than this herb doth. The pots they make use of about this kind of drink are the most precious of any of their household-stuffe, in as much as it is known, that there have been Tsia pots, which had cost between six and seven thousand pound sterling.”
The “Tsia pots” were, of course, the ceramic tea containers – small caddies and large jars – that Japanese connoisseurs so highly treasured. And unlike Chinese thé, which was steeped as leaf and strained for its liquor, Japanese tsia was ground into a fine powder, used in sparing measures, and whisked in a bowl with hot water to a bright green liquid foam. Here, Wicquefort seemed to suggest that Japanese tsia, powdered and drunk in suspension, had a greater medicinal efficacy, a value reflected, as it were, in the very worth of the artworks used to contain the tea.
Wicquefort’s notion that Japanese tsia was higher in quality than Chinese tea was echoed in the book The Six Voyages of Jean Baptiste Tavernier of 1676. Tavernier was a diamond merchant who traveled to Turkey, Persia, and India, encountering tea in the gem markets and taverns of the East: “They hold in great esteem this herb which is called Thé, which comes from China and Japan, and that from the later [sic] country is the better of the two.” In 1694, the famous Paris apothecary Pierre Pomet wrote in the General History of Drugs that Japanese tea cost considerably more than Chinese by a third. He explained that even though “the Thée of Japan is no different from that of China” its “smaller leaves and its taste and scent are more agreeable. Moreover, because it is usually a brighter and more beautiful light green, the difference in scent, taste, and color greatly increases its price.”
Tsia and Tsja
The German naturalist Engelbert Kaempfer also maintained the thé and tsia distinction between Chinese and Japanese teas in his 1712 description of Japan. For his landmark study of the tea plant Exotic Pleasures, he transliterated Japanese tea words and phrases, employing a dozen or more relative terms but adding to the confusion by inventing Thèh and Tsja to represent thé and tsia. Indeed, Kaempfer indiscriminately used not only Tsja for tsia but also Tsjaa for tsia.
Like Adam Olearius before him, Engelbert Kaempfer was secretary to a European embassy to Russia and Persia. And like Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo, Kaempfer continued his travels eastward, eventually sailing to Japan as physician to the Dutch East India Company at Deshima. He spent two years investigating the cultural and botanical aspects of Japan, accompanying the merchant officers on the annual visit to the shogunal capital of Edo. A keen observer of nature and customs, he recorded his findings in Exotic Pleasure, which he published in 1712, seventeen years after his return to Germany.
Some decades later, Exotic Pleasures was translated into English in 1727, and Kaempfer’s use of tsia and his inventions of Tsja and Tsjaa were integral to the English version. Employed by the British, tsia, Tsja, and Tsjaa lent a certain weight of scientific authority to later English essays, journals, and books on tea. Tsja and Tsjaa were briefly in vogue and appeared sporadically in a few London publications. In 1772, John Coakley Lettsome wrote The Natural History of the Tea-Tree with Observations on the Medical Qualities of Tea, and Effects of Tea-Drinking in which he used a number of Kaempfer’s words, including Tsjaa (tea), Ficki Tsjaa (ground or powdered tea), Udsi Tsjaa (tea from Uji), Tacke Saki Tsjaa (tea from Takasaki), Tootsjaa (Chinese tea), and Ban Tsjaa 番茶 (coarse tea). In 1808, an anonymous writer adopted the pseudonym Tsjaaphilus to author a series of four articles in The Monthly Magazine of London.
Whomever he was, Tsjaaphilus set the precedent of creating a tea neologism, a term minted to extend the meaning of an existing word, combining Tsjaa with philus to create “lover of tea.” Then in 1826, the anonymous author of A Discourse on Tea likewise generated a new word by joining tsi – the contraction of tsia – with ology to coin tsiology. Today, neither word – tsia nor tsiology – has much currency, and they remain curiosities in the vast lore of tea.
Anonymous: A Tea Dealer
Tsiology: A Discourse on Tea
London: Wm. Walker, 1827
Ink on paper
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Portrait of Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo, 17th century
Ink on paper
From Johann Albrechtvon Mandelslo, Voyages Celebres & Remarquables Faits de Perse aux Indes Orientales, par le Sr. Jean-Albert de Mandelslo, contenant une description nouvelle & très-curieuse de l’Indostan, de l’Empire du Grand-Mogol, des iles et presqu’iles de l’Orient, des royaumes de Siam, du Japon, de la Chine, du Congo, &c. … ou` l’on trouve la situation exacte de tous ces Pays & Etats…Mis en ordre & publiez, après la mort de l’Illustre Voyageur, par le Sr. Adam Olearius, Abraham de Wicquefort (Dutch, 1606–1682), trans. (Amsterdam: Michel Charles le Cene, 1727).
Caspar Netscher (Dutch, 1639-1684)
Portrait of Abraham van Wicquefort, 1670
Oil on canvas
Institute Collection Netherlands
Title Page of Exotic Pleasures by Engelbert Kaempfer (German, 1651-1716)
Ink on paper
From Engelberto Kaempfero, Amoenitatum exoticarum politico-physico-medicarum fasciculi v, quibus continentur variae relationes, observationes & descriptiones rerum Persicarum & ulterioris Asiae, multâ attentione, in peregrinationibus per universum Orientum, collecta, ab auctore (Five fascicles of exotic pleasures regarding politics, physics, and medicine, which contain various relations, observations, and descriptions of Persian matters and regions beyond Asia collected through various expeditions through the entire Orient by the author) (Lemgoviae, Typis & impensis H.W. Meyeri, 1712).
 The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1971), vol. II, p. 3425.
 Although omitting his name, the author of Tsiology signed page vi of his preface with an address, “Canton House, No. 1, Gerrard Street, Soho,” Middlesex, London. It is interesting to note that around the same time No. 2, Canton House was occupied by one Lewis Gore Gordon, a tea dealer in partnership with a Charles Ward doing business under the firm of Lewis Gordon and Company. Two years after the publication of Tsiology, Lewis Gore Gordon was a prisoner being sued under the Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors in England at a hearing on Saturday, November 1, 1828 at the Court House, in Portugal Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London (The London Gazette [October 10, 1828], no. 18512, p. 1863).
 Alfred Rehder (American, 1863-1949), The Bradley Bibliography: A Guide to the Literature of the Woody Plants of the World Published Before the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (Riverside Press, 1915), vol. 3, p. 606.
 The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1971), vol. II, p. 3425.
 The modern Chinese reading of the ideograph 茶 for tea is romanized in the pinyin romanization system as cha. The obsolete English spellings of tea – tsia, tcha, and chia - attempted to reproduce cha, a sound made of the consonantal ch and the vowel a. The sound ch is a digraph of two characters, c and h, representing a single consonantal sound or phoneme. As a sound, ch is familiar to English speakers as the ch sound in chip. In Chinese, the sound ch may be represented by the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol /t∫/ which in phonology is described as a voiceless postalveolar affricate (or voiceless palato-alveolar affricate or domed postalveolar affricate). In Japanese, the similar sound ch may be represented by the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol /ʨ/ which in phonology is described as a voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate. When the consonantal ch is combined with the vowel a the sound cha is formed: [t∫a] and/or [ʨa], a combination of the ch sound as in church with a long, soft a as in father. In the mouth, the sound is produced by raising the tongue to the hard palate (alveopalatal) with a stop (affricate [t]) immediately followed by forcing the breath through the tongue, palate, and upper front teeth (fricative [∫]), lowering the tongue and jaw, opening the vocal tract, and voicing the low vowel [aː]. For a study of the words for tea, see Victor H. Mair and Erling Hoh, “The Genealogy of Words for Tea,” The True History of Tea (London: Thames and Hudson, 2009), Appendix C, p. 264.
 Tsia as well as t’cha, tsja, and tsjaa, are particularly Germanic renditions of the sound cha since German and Dutch inherently lack the consonantal ch in their languages. Many thanks to Professor John T. Kirby for his kind assistance and expertise on this matter.
 From the English translation of Engelbert Kaempfer, M.D. (German, 1651-1716), Amoenitatum exoticarum politico-physico-medicarum fasciculi v, quibus continentur variae relationes, observationes & descriptiones rerum Persicarum & ulterioris Asiae, multâ attentione, in peregrinationibus per universum Orientum, collecta, ab auctore Engelberto Kaempfero (Lemgo: Henry Wilhelm Meyer, 1712), fasc. III, pp. 605-631, esp. 608; published in English as The History of Japan together with a Description of the Kingdom of Siam, 1690-1692 (1727), Johann Gaspar Scheuchzer (Swiss, 1702-1729), trans. (Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 1906), vol. 3, p. 218; cf. Engelbert Kaemper, “The History of Japanese Tea,” Exotic Pleasures: Fascicle III, Curious Scientific and Medical Observations, Robert W. Carrubba, trans. (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996), p. 144.
 François Caron (French-Dutch, 1600-1673) and Joost Schouten (Dutch, ca. 1600-1644), Beschrijvinghe van het Machtigh Coninckryck Japan und Siam (A True Description of the Mighty Kingdoms of Japan and Siam), (Amsterdam, 1636); cf. Charles R. Boxer (English, 1904-2000), ed., A True Description of the Mighty Kingdoms of Japan and Siam [by François Caron and Joost Schouten], Roger Manley (English, ca. 1626-1688), trans., (London: The Argonaut Press, 1935), p. 126.
 Translated from French; cf. François Caron (French-Dutch, 1600-1673), Le puissant royaume du Japon: la description de François Caron, 1636, Jacques Proust and Marianne Proust, trans. (Paris: Editions Chandeigne, 2003), p. 136.
 A True Description of the Mighty Kingdom of Japan was among the principal European reports concerning the exclusivity and costliness of Japanese tea equipage. François Caron identified two ceramics considered so beautiful that they were given names. The first was “A small box for tea called Narissiba.” The “box” was actually a little covered jar used to hold powered tea, a type of tea caddy in the “square shouldered” Chinese style properly known as katatsuki 肩衝. Together with two other caddies, Narashiba katatsuki 楢芝肩衝 (or variously 楢柴肩衝) was considered on of the “three Meibutsu 名物 (famous things) of the realm.” The second ceramic was “A large jar for tea called Stengo.” The jar was a chatsubo 茶壺 or container for storing tea leaves. Known as Sutego chatsubo 捨て子茶壺 or “the tea jar, Abandoned Child,” the name referred to Lu Yü 陸羽 (ca. 733-804 A.D.), the famous Chinese tea master of the Tang dynasty who was a foundling. Narashiba katatsuki and Sutego chatsubo were part of an extraordinary bequest of art objects given by the retired emperor to his son the emperor. See François Caron (French, 1600-1673), Le puissant royaume du Japon: la description de François Caron, 1636, Jacques Proust and Marianne Proust, trans. (Paris: Editions Chandeigne, 2003), pp. 90 and 255, n. 4 and 5.
 Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo (German, 1616-1644), Des hochedelgebornen Johan Albrechts von Mandelslo Morgenländische Reise-Beschreibung. Worinnen zugleich die Gelegenheit und heutiger Zustand etlicher fürnehmen Indianischen Länder, Provincien, Städte und Insulen sampt derer Einwohner Leben, Sitten, Glauben und Handthierung: wie auch die Beschaffenheit der Seefahrt über das Oceanische Meer. Herausgegeben durch Adam Olearium. Mit desselben unterschiedlichen Notis oder Anmerckungen, wie auch mit vielen Kupfferplaten gezieret, Adam Olearius (German, 1603-1671), ed. (Schleswig: Johan Holwein 1658), p. 245.
 Adam Olearius (German, 1603-1671), “Preface,” The Voyages & Travels of the Ambassadors Sent by Frederick Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the King of Persia. Begun in the Year M.DC.XXXIII. and Finish’d in M.DC.XXXIX.: Containing a Compleat History of Muscovy, Tartary, Persia, and Other Adjacent Countries. With Several Publick Transactions Reaching Neer the Present Times; in VII. Books. : Whereto are Added The Travels of John Albert de Mandelslo, (a Gentleman Belonging to the Embassy) from Persia, Into the East-Indies. Containing a Particular Description of Indosthan, the Mogul’s Empire, the Oriental Islands, Japan, China, &c. and the Revolutions which Happened in Those Countries, Within These Few Years; in III. Books. : The Whole Work Illustrated with Divers Accurate Mapps, and Figures. Written originally by Adam Olearius, secretary to the embassy. Faithfully rendered into English, by John Davies (English, 1625-1693), of Kidwelly trans. (London: Thomas Dring and John Starkey, 1662), n.p.
 Adam Olearius, Offt bergehrte Beschreibung de Newen Orientalischen Reyse So durch Gelegenheit einer Holsteinischen Legation an den König in Persien geschehen : Worinnen Derer Oerter vnd Länder, durch welche die Reise gangen, als fürnemblich Rußland, Tartarien vnd Persien, sampt jhrer Einwohner Natur, Leben vnd Wesen fleissig beschrieben, vnd mit vielen Kupfferstücken, so nach dem Leben gestellet, gezieret ; Item Ein Schreiben des WolEdeln [et]c. Johan Albrecht Von Mandelslo, worinnen dessen OstIndianische Reise über den Oceanum enthalten ; Zusampt eines kurtzen Berichts von jetzigem Zustand des eussersten Orientalischen KönigReiches Tzina, (Schleswig: Bey Jacob zur Glocken, 1647).
 William H. Ukers, All About Tea (New York: The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, 1935), vol. 1, p. 34. Cf. Gui Patin (French, 1601-1672), La France au milieu du XVIIIe siecle (1648-1661) d’après la Correspondance de Gui Patin, Armand Brette, ed. (Paris: Librarie Armand Colin 1901), pp. 209-210 and Guy Patin, Lettres de Gui Patin, Paris: J.B. Baillière, 1846), vol. 2, p. 292.
 Adam Olearius, “Preface,” Relation du Voyage d’Adam Olearius en Moscovie, Tartarie et Perse, Augmentee en cette nouvelle edition de plus d’un tiers, & particulierement d’une second Partie contenant le voyage de Jean Albert de Mandelslo aux Indes Orientales traduit de l’Allemand par A. de Wicquefort, Resident de Brandebourg, Abraham de Wicquefort (Dutch, 1606–1682), trans. (Paris: Gervais Clovzier, 1656), vol. 1, n.p.
 Adam Olearius, “Le Japon,” Relation du Voyage d’Adam Olearius en Moscovie, Tartarie et Perse, Augmentee en cette nouvelle edition de plus d’un tiers, & particulierement d’une second Partie contenant le voyage de Jean Albert de Mandelslo aux Indes Orientales traduit de l’Allemand par A. de Wicquefort, Resident de Brandebourg, Abraham de Wicquefort, trans. (Paris: Jean Du Puis, 1666), vol. 2, bk. 2, pp. 401-449, esp. 432.
 Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo, Des hochedelgebornen Johan Albrechts von Mandelslo Morgenländische Reise-Beschreibung. Worinnen zugleich die Gelegenheit und heutiger Zustand etlicher fürnehmen Indianischen Länder, Provincien, Städte und Insulen sampt derer Einwohner Leben, Sitten, Glauben und Handthierung: wie auch die Beschaffenheit der Seefahrt über das Oceanische Meer. Herausgegeben durch Adam Olearium. Mit desselben unterschiedlichen Notis oder Anmerckungen, wie auch mit vielen Kupfferplaten gezieret, Adam Olearius (German, 1603-1671), ed. (Schleswig: Johan Holwein 1658), p. 237. Abraham de Wicquefort did, however, translate Mandelslo’s work; see Johann Albrechtvon Mandelslo, Voyages Celebres & Remarquables Faits de Perse aux Indes Orientales, par le Sr. Jean-Albert de Mandelslo, contenant une description nouvelle & très-curieuse de l’Indostan, de l’Empire du Grand-Mogol, des iles et presqu’iles de l’Orient, des royaumes de Siam, du Japon, de la Chine, du Congo, &c. … ou` l’on trouve la situation exacte de tous ces Pays & Etats…Mis en ordre & publiez, après la mort de l’Illustre Voyageur, par le Sr. Adam Olearius, Abraham de Wicquefort (Dutch, 1606–1682), trans. (Amsterdam: Michel Charles le Cene, 1727).
 E.g., Diego de Pantoja, S.J. (Spanish, 1571-1618), Relación de la entrade de algunos padres de la Compania de Iesus en la China, y particulares successos q tuvieron, y de cosas muy notables que vieron en el mismo Regno…Carta del Padre Diego de Pantoja, Religioso de la Compañia de Jesus, para el Padre Luys de Guzman Provincial en la Provincia de Toledo, su fecha en Paquin, corte del Rey de la China, a nueve de Março de mil y seiscientos y dos años (Seville: Alonso Rodriguez Gamarra, 1605); João Rodrigues, S.J. (Portuguese, 1558–1633), Arte del Cha (The Art of Tea) Arte da lingoa (Iapoa Nihon Daibunten) (Nagasaki, 1604-1608) and Arte Breve da lingoa Iapoa (Nihongo Shōbunten, 1620), Historia da Igreja do Japão (History of the Japanese Church, 1620-1633), and This Island of Japon (book 1 of Historia); Alvaro Semedo (Portuguese, 1585-1658), The History of the Great and Renowned Monarchy of China (Rome, 1643); Alexandre de Rhodes, S.J. (French, 1591-1660), Divers Voyages et Missions du P. Alexandre de Rhodes, en la autres Royaumes de l’Orient, etc. (Paris: Cramoisy, 1653); and Martino Martini, S.J. (Italian, 1614-1661), Novus Atlas Sinensis (New Atlas of China) (Vienna, 1653).
 Willem Pies (a.k.a. Willem Piso, Dutch, 1611-1678), Jacob de Bondt (a.k.a. Jacob Bontius, Dutch, 1592-1631), and Georg Marggraf (a.k.a. Georg Marcgrave, German, 1610-1648), De Indiae utriusque re naturali et medica libri quatuordecim (From India: Things Natural and Medical, Book Fourteen) (Amsterdam: Elzevier, 1658), bk. 7, pp. 87-90, esp. 87. Cf. Sinensium, sive, Tsia Japonensium in Jacobus Breynius (a.k.a. Jacob Breyne, German, 1637-1697), Exoticarum aliarumque minus cognitarum planatrum centuria prima (Centuria or First Century of Exotic Plants, 1678) with an appendix by Willem ten Rhijne (Dutch, 1647-1700).
 Adam Olearius, Relation du Voyage d’Adam Olearius en Moscovie, Tartarie et Perse, Augmentee en cette nouvelle edition de plus d’un tiers, & particulierement d’une second Partie contenant le voyage de Jean Albert de Mandelslo aux Indes Orientales traduit de l’Allemand par A. de Wicquefort, Resident de Brandebourg, Abraham de Wicquefort, trans. (Paris: Jean Du Puis, 1666), vol. 2, bk. 2, p. 433.
 Quote from Abraham de Wicquefort in Adam Olearius, The Voyages & Travels of the Ambassadors Sent by Frederick Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the King of Persia. Begun in the Year M.DC.XXXIII. and Finish’d in M.DC.XXXIX.: Containing a Compleat History of Muscovy, Tartary, Persia, and Other Adjacent Countries. With Several Publick Transactions Reaching Neer the Present Times; in VII. Books. : Whereto are Added The Travels of John Albert de Mandelslo, (a Gentleman Belonging to the Embassy) from Persia, Into the East-Indies. Containing a Particular Description of Indosthan, the Mogul’s Empire, the Oriental Islands, Japan, China, &c. and the Revolutions which Happened in Those Countries, Within These Few Years; in III. Books. : The Whole Work Illustrated with Divers Accurate Mapps, and Figures. Written originally by Adam Olearius, secretary to the embassy. Faithfully rendered into English, by John Davies, of Kidwelly trans. (London: Thomas Dring and John Starkey, 1662), bk. 2, p. 195.
 Compare the remarks of Alexander Rhodes on tea as remedy in Alexandre de Rhodes, S.J. (French, 1591-1660), Divers Voyages et Missions du P. Alexandre de Rhodes, en la autres Royaumes de l Orient, etc. Paris, 1653, p. 49.
 Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (French, 1605-1689), Les six voyages de Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Ecuyer Baron d’Aubonne, qu’il a fait en Turquie, en Perse, et aux Indes, pendant l’espace de quarante ans, & par toutes les routes que l’on peut tenir: accompagnez d’observations particulieres sur la qualité, la religion, le gouvernement, les coûtumes & le commerce de chaque païs, avec les figures, le poids, & la valeur des monnoyes qui y ont cours : premiere partie, où n’est parlé que de la Turquie [et] de la Perse (Paris: Gervais Clouzier … et Claude Barbin, 1676), vol. V, p. 257 cited in Sebastião Rodolfo Dalgado and Anthony X. Soares Portuguese vocables in Asiatic languages: from the Portuguese original of Monsignor Sebastião Rodolfo Dalgado, Anthony X. Soares, trans. (New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1988), Volume 1, pp. 93-95, esp. p. 94, n. 1.
 Pierre Pomet (French, 1658-1699), Histoire Générale des Drogues (Paris: Jean-Baptiste Loyson & Augustin Pillon, 1694), pp. 143-145; cf. Pierre Pomet, Compleat History of Drugs (1694) (London: 1712), vol. 1, ch. 5, p. 84.
 See Hayakawa Isamu 川早勇, “Kenperu no tsukatta nihongo goi ケンペルの使った日本語語彙 (Kaempfer’s Japanese Vocabulary),” Gengo to bunka 言語と文化 (Language and Culture), No.8 (Aichi University, 2003), pp. 119-147.
 See Tsjaaphilus, “Letter 1: On the Cultivation of, and Substitutes for, Tea” The Monthly Magazine or British Register (London, August 1, 1808), vol. XXVI, part II, no. 174, pp. 1-3 and his subsequent articles: “Letter 2: On the Tea Plant.” September 1, 1808), pp. 97-98; “Letter 3: On Tea,” October 1, 1808), pp. 201-02; and “Observations on Tea,” December 1, 1808), pp. 414-19.
Guo Pu of the Eastern Jin
The bustling capital is a pitfall for wayward gentlemen.
The mountain forest is seclusion for hermits.
No need to exalt the vermillion gate;
It is incomparable to embracing Penglai,
Where right from the Source I ladle pure water,
Where from the hills and mountains I gather cinnabar mushrooms.
Spirit Stream conceals me well:
No need to climb the Ladder of Clouds.
Lacquer Garden had Chuangzi;
Master Lai, a reclusive wife.
Advancing ensures seeing the dragon but
Retiring is like a ram butting a fence.
On the high Path, I abandon the swirling dust,
Bidding farewell to Boyi and Shuqi.
Guo Pu 郭璞 (276-324 A.D.), Youxian shi 遊仙詩 (Poems on the Wandering Immortal), poem 1,
Wenxüan 文選 (Selections from Literature), Xiao Tong 蕭統 (501-531 A.D.), comp. (Hong Kong: Commercial Book Co., 1973), vol. 1, ch. 21, pp. 460-461.
Li Bo of the Tang dynasty
Bring in the Wine
Have you not seen the Yellow River waters flowing from Heaven,
Rushing to the sea, never to return?
Have you not seen parents’ sorrow in their white hair?
Once, it was like black silk at dawn, now at sunset it’s like snow.
A life fulfilled must contain happiness:
Never let the golden vessel go empty, just add the moon!
Born with Heaven’s gifts, I must use them;
I’ve scattered thousands in gold and it all returns to me.
Boil the mutton, butcher the ox, all for joy!
Muster a draught of three hundred cups!
Master Cen and Master Danqiu,
Bring in the wine, the ceaseless cups.
Just one more song for you,
Please just listen closely.
Bells and drums, delicacies and jade? All nothing!
I just want one long binge, not sobriety!
Old sages and worthies? All forgotten!
Only great drunks leave behind their names.
Prince Chen once feasted in the Temple of Tranquil Joy,
Worth tens of thousands, casks of wine indulged every pleasure.
So how dare I say my money is running out?
Go buy more wine and fill our cups.
My fine dappled horse, my precious furs,
Call over the servant boy, exchange them for rare wines.
Together we’ll wash away ten thousand old sorrows.
Li Bo李白 (a.k.a. Li Bai, 701-762 A.D.), Jiangjin jiu 將進酒 (Bring in the Wine), Qüan Tangshi 全唐詩 (Complete Poetry of the Tang Dynasty, 1705), juan 卷162.
Liang Kai 梁楷 (ca. 1140-1210)
Li Bo, 13th century
China: Southern Song dynasty
Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Tokyo National Museum
Yang Xiong of the Han dynasty
Excerpt from the Rhapsody on the Capital of Shu
The Five Grains are abundant,
The squashes and gourds, aplenty, and
The many plants yield thatch and hemp.
Everywhere is ginger and gardenia,
Monkshood and great garlic,
Flowering shrubs and wormwood,
Pepper and riverweed.
The sundry gels, pastes, and sweet wines,
All gathered, presented, and stored.
In winter, the bamboo nurtures shoots
To accompany the daily dishes.
The Hundred Flowers burst forth in spring
Filling the air with gentle perfume.
Tendrils and tea, lushly profuse,
Jade green, russet, and celadon,
Glorious as luminous dragon scales,
Spread like rich embroidery and
Vast prospect without end…
Yang Xiong揚雄 (53 B.C.-A.D. 18), Shudu fu 蜀都賦 (Rhapsody on the Capital of Shu) in Yan Kejün嚴可均 (1762-1843 A.D.), comp., Qüan Hanwen 全漢文 (1894 A.D. ed.), ch. 51, pp. 1a-3b, esp. 2b.
“An Exact Description of the Growth, Quality, and Vertues of the Leaf TEA, by Thomas Garway in Exchange Alley, near the Royal Exchange in London, Tobacconist, and Seller and Retailer of TEA and COFFEE.
Tea is generally brought from China, and groweth there upon little Shrubs or Bushes, the Branches whereof are well garnished with white Flowers that are yellow within, of the bigness and fashion of sweet Brier, but smell unlike, bearing thin green leaves about the bigness of Scordium, Mirtle, or Sumack, and is judged to be a kind of Sumack: This Plant hath been reported to grow wild only, but doth not, for they plant it in their Gardens about four foot distance, and it groweth about four foot high, and of the Seeds they maintain and increase their Stock. Of all places in China this Plant groweth in greatest plenty in the Province of Xemsi, Latitude 36. degrees, bordering upon the West of the Province of Honam, and in the Province of Namking, near the City of Lucheu; there is likewise of the growth of Sinam, Cochin China, the Island de Ladrones and Japan, and is called Cha. Of this famous Leaf there are divers sorts (though all of one shape) some much better than the other, the upper Leaves excelling the other in fineness, a property almost in all Plants, which Leaves they gather every day, and drying them in the shade, or in Iron pans over a gentle fire till the humidity be exhausted, then put up close in Leaden pots, preserve them for their Drink Tea, which is used at Meals, and upon all Visits and Entertainments in private Families, and in the Palaces of Grandees. And it is averred by a Padre of Macao Native of Japan, that the best Tea ought not to be gathered but by Virgins who are destined to this work, and such, Qua nondum Menstrua patiuntur; gemma qua nascuntur in summitate arbuscula servantur Imperatorie, ac pracipuis ejus Dynastis: qua autem infra nascuntur, ad latera, populo conceduntur. The said Leaf is of such known vertues, that those very Nations so famous for Antiquity, Knowledge, and Wisdom, do frequently sell it amongst themselves for twice its weight in Silver, and the high estimation of the Drink made therewith, hath occasioned an inquiry into the nature thereof among the most intelligent persons of all Nations that have travelled in those parts, who, after exact Tryal and Experience by all Wayes imaginable, have commended it to the use of their several Countries, for its Vertues and Operations, particularly as followeth, viz.
“The Quality is moderately hot, proper for Winter or Summer.
“The Drink is declared to be most wholesome, preserving in perfect health untill extreme Old Age.
“The particular Vertues are these.
It maketh the Body clean and lusty.
It helpeth the Head-ach, giddiness and heaviness thereof.
It removeth the Obstructions of the Spleen.
It is very good against the Stone and Gravel, cleansing the Kidneys and Vriters, being drank with Virgins Honey instead of Sugar.
It taketh away the difficulty of breathing, opening Obstructions.
It is good against Lipitude Distillations, and cleareth the Sight.
It removeth Lassitude, and cleanseth and purineth adult Humors and a hot Liver.
It is good against Crudities, strengthening the weakness of the Ventricle or Stomack, causing good Appetite and Digestion, and particularly for Men of a Corpulent Body, and such as are great eaters of Flesh.
It vanquisheth heavy Dreams, easeth the Brain, and strengtheneth the Memory.
It overcometh superfluous Sleep, and prevents Sleepiness in general, a draught of the Infusion being taken, so that, without trouble, whole nights may be spent in Study without hurt to the Body, in that it moderately heateth and bindeth the mouth of the Stomach.
It prevents and cures Agues, Surfets and Feavers, by infusing a fit quantity of the Leaf, thereby provoking a most gentle Vomit and breathing of the Pores, and hath been given with wonderful success.
It (being prepared and drank with Milk and Water) strengtheneth the inward parts, and prevents Consumptions, and powerfully asswageth the pains of the Bowels, or griping of the Guts and Looseness.
It is good for Colds, Dropsies, and Scurveys, if properly infused, purging the Blood by Sweat and Urine, and expelleth Infection.
It drives away all pains in the Collick proceeding from Wind, and purgeth safely the Gall.
And that the Vertues and Excellencies of this Leaf and Drink, are many and great, it is evident and manifest by the high esteem and use of it (especially of late years) among the Paysitians and Knowing men in France, Italy, Holland, and other parts of Christendom; and in England it hath been sold in the Leaf for six pounds, and some times for ten pounds the pound weight, and in respect of its former scarceness and dearness, it hath been only used as a Regalia in high Treatments and Entertainments, and Presents made thereof to Princes and Grandees till the year 1657. The said Thomas Garway did purchase a quantity thereof, and first publickly sold the said Tea in Leaf and Drink, made according to the directions of the most knowing Merchants and Travellers into those Eastern Countries. And upon knowledge and experience of the said Garway’s continued care and industry in obtaining the best Tea, and making Drink thereof, very many Noblemen, Paysitians, Merchants and Gentlemen of Quality have ever since sent to him for the said Leaf, and daily resort to his House in Exchange Alley aforesaid, to drink the Drink thereof.
And that Ignorance nor Envy have no ground or power to report or suggest that what is here assertted of the Vertues and Excellencies of this pretious Leaf and Drink hath more of design than truth, for the justification of himself and satisfaction of others, he hath here innumerated several Authors, who, in their Learned Works, have expressly written and asserted the same, and much more, in honour of this noble Leaf and Drink, viz. Bontius, Riccius, Jarricus, Almeyda, Horstius, Alvarez Semeda, Martinious in his China Atlas, and Alexander de Rhodes in his Voyage and Missions in a large discourse of the ordering of this Leaf, and the many Vertues of the Drink, printed at Paris 1653 part 10, Chap. 13.
And to the end that all Persons of Eminency and Quality, Gentlemen and others who have occasion for Tea in Leaf, may be supplyed. These are to give notice, that the said Thomas Garway hath Tea to sell from sixteen to fifty Shillings the pound.
And whereas several Persons using Coffee, have been accustomed to buy the powder thereof by the pound, or in lesser or greater quantities, which if kept two dayes looseth much of its first Goodness. And, forasmuch as the Berries after drying may be kept if need require for some Moneths; Therefore all persons living remote from London, and have occasion for the said powder, are advised to buy the said Coffee Berries ready dryed, which being in a Morter beaten, or in a Mill ground to powder, as they use it, will so often be brisk, fresh, and fragrant, and in its full vigour and strength as if new prepared, to the great satisfaction of the Drinkers thereof, as hath been experienced by many in this City. Which Commodity of the best sort, the said Thomas Garway hath alwayes ready dryed to be sold at reasonable Rates.
Also such as will have Coffee in powder, or the Berries undryed, or Chocolata, may by the said Thomas Garway be supplied to their content: With such further Instructions and perfect Directions how to use Tea, Coffee and Chocolata, as is, or may be needful, and so as to be efficatious and operative, according to their several Vertues.
Thomas Garway (a.k.a. Thomas Garraway, English, 1632-1704)
Advertisement for Tea
Advertisement Broadsheet Folio: ink on paper
11 x 15 inches
 “as have not yet reached menarche; the buds that grow on top of the bushes are reserved for the Emperor and the imperial family: but those that grow further down, on the sides, are granted to the common people.” Many thanks to Dr. John T. Kirby, Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics, University of Miami for his translation of the Latin in the broadsheet.
Zhang Zai of the Western Jin
Ascending the White Rabbit Pavilion in Chengdu
Corners bind the city’s inner walls,
Wing swept eaves mount storied pagodas.
Rooftops pierce the heavenly clouds,
Tall spires ascend into the Void.
High pavilion, the open crimson door:
The view, an unbroken panorama.
To the west, the river Min and mountain ridges:
Lofty Mount E looms larger than the peaks of Jing and Wu.
Great taro patches cover the land,
Plains and marshes grow grains and greens.
Even when compared to the time of Yao and Tang,
Food is ever abundant.
In myriad small towns,
Crowd the common folk.
The streets, confused, a tangle of fine silk threads;
Roofs and rafters invade the boulevards.
I wish to ask about Master Yang’s abode
And to see the home of the Elder Minister.
Cheng and Zhuo piled up thousands in gold,
As proud and prodigal as the Five Marquises.
They ride marvelous mounts and
Wear jade belts and swords from Wu.
Their bronzes filled with foods of the Four Seasons,
Blending aromas, wonderful and rare.
But truly, I’d rather be in the woods picking autumn oranges
And on the nearby rivers angling for spring fish:
Black fry tastier than fish sauce,
Fruit more luscious than crab dip.
Fragrant, beautiful tea crowns the Six Purities,
Its overflowing flavor spreads through the Nine Regions.
If only life were that peaceful,
This world would hold more pleasure.
Qüan Han Sanguo Jin Nanbei chao shi全漢三國晉南北朝詩 (The Complete Poetry of the Han, Three Kingdoms, Chin and Northern and Southern Dynasties), Ding Fubao丁福保, (1874–1952), comp. Taipei: Shijie shujü, 1969), vol. 1, pp. 389-390.
Zuo Si of the Jin dynasty
Poem Eight from Eight Poems on History
Flap, flap, a caged bird
Beating wings against four corners.
Aloof, aloof, the backstreet scholar,
A brooding shadow kept to an empty house.
Going out, there is no exit,
Brambles block the way.
Dreams are abandoned,
Like fish out of water.
On the street – no measure of fortune;
At home – not a measure saved.
Constantly belittled by relations,
Day and night neglected by friends.
Su Qin propagandized in the north and
Li Si memorialized in the west, but
Aspiring to glory and splendor, tsk,
Is just carving rotten wood.
Drinking from the river fills the belly,
But one can drink only so much.
A forest nest need perch but on a single branch:
Such is the way of the accomplished man.
Zuo Si 左思 (250-305 A.D.), Yongshi bashou 詠史八首 (Eight Poems on History), Wenxüan 文選 (Selections of Refined Literature, ca. 520 A.D.), Xiao Tong 蕭統 (501–531 A.D.), comp. (Hong Kong: Commerical Book Co., 1973), ch. 21, pp. 447.
The Japanese legend of the discovery of tea by the first Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma graphically detailed the dedication of the master to meditation. According to the story, Bodhidharma, known as Daruma in Japan, practiced a strict regimen of meditation at the Shaolin Temple outside the ancient Chinese capital of Luoyang by sitting in a nearby cave and facing the wall. He meditated in this fashion for many years until one day, without realizing his fatigue, he fell asleep. Angered by his inability to stay awake and concentrate, he ripped out his eyelids and flung them to the ground. Miraculously, the flesh sprouted into tea plants at his feet. Tasting the leaves, he felt refreshed and clear minded and immediately resumed meditation. His habit of tea was passed to his disciples and through them to the whole Buddhist community. Such was the origin of tea explained in Japanese folklore.
The first ever literary expression of the Bodhidharma tea story appeared to have been written in Latin by the German naturalist and physician Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716 A.D.) while serving as surgeon to the Dutch East India Company. Between 1690 and 1692, Kaempfer was stationed at Deshima, the small island connected to the Japanese port of Nagasaki. A gifted botanist and keen observer, he wrote one of the most complete descriptions of tea of the time, noting not only the plant but also its Japanese name, cultivation, harvest, types of tea, preparation, preservation, use, virtues and vices, and implements and utensils for making and serving tea. In 1712, Kaempfer published his study of tea as “Theae Japonensis historia” in the third fascicle of Amoenitatum Exoticarum, otherwise known as Exotic Pleasures, and included the popular image of Bodhidharma depicted crossing the Yangzi River on a reed as well as the legend of the origin of tea.
“Tea, called Tsjaa by the Japanese and Theh by the Chinese, still has no character of its own accepted and approved by the universities. A character of its own is one that suggests the nature of a thing. Meanwhile, various substitutes have been used. Some characters at least indicate the sound of the word tea; others, the virtues and description of the plant. To the latter group belongs the character that represents the eyelids of Darma, a certain eminent holy man among the heathen. The story behind it is both charming and relevant, for it indicates the date of the first use of tea. With the reader’s permission, I will briefly pursue this digression.”
“Darma, the third son of the Indian King Kosjuwo, was a holy and devout man, a kind of pope of the religious. He was the twenty-eighth successor to the Holy See of Sjaka, also a dark Indian, who was born 1,028 years before Christ and founded Oriental paganism. In A.D. 519 Darma journeyed to China. He devoted all his energy to fill the people with the knowledge of God and a true – as he called it – faith that would lead them to happiness. But in his endeavor to serve mankind not only with doctrine but also with good example, he strove to win divine grace by living in the open air and variously chastising his body and mastering his passions. He ate only vegetables. His idea of the highest state of holiness was to pass his nights sleepless and alert in constant satori, that is, in contemplation of the supreme divinity. To concentrate unceasingly upon God while denying the body rest and relaxation he considered the supreme achievement of a life of penance and the test of human perfection.”
“After vigils over several years, it happened that fatigued by long exposure and fasting, he succumbed to sleep. When he awoke, he cut off both his eyelids as the instrument of his sin and cast them in anger upon the ground in penance for his broken vow and as a precaution against the same thing happening in the future. Returning on the next day to the place of his punishment, he observed that by a wonderful transformation from each eyelid a shrub had grown – the tea plant. Either the plant had not previously existed or at the least mankind was ignorant of its virtue. As Darma ate the leaves (whether raw or prepared with water I do not know), he perceived a wondrous joy of spirit and strength to contemplate the divine. Because he commended this power hidden in tea leaves and the manner of eating them to his multitude of disciples, the use of this most noble plant readily grew and gained common approval as something about which no praise would be excessive. Meanwhile, the plant, as it lacked its own character, was conventionally represented by the eyelids of Darma. I am pleased to include here for the reader’s inspection a drawing of that famous man, the type that enjoys great veneration among the heathen. Beneath Darma’s feet is a reed on which, tradition relates, he traversed the sea and the rivers. So much for the name of tea.”
Englebert Kaemper, Exotic Pleasures: Fascicle III Curious Scientific and Medical Observations, Robert W. Carrubba, trans. (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996), pp. 144-145. Cf. Engelbert Kaempfer (German, 1651-1716), “The Natural History of the Japanese Tea,” The History of Japan, John Gaspar Scheuchzer (Swiss, 1702-1729), trans. (Glasgow: J. MacLehose & Sons, 1906), vol. 3, pp. 218-221, fig. 139.
Engelberto Kaempfero (German, 1651-1716), Amoenitatum exoticarum politico-physico-medicarum fasciculi v, quibus continentur variae relationes, observationes & descriptiones rerum Persicarum & ulterioris Asiae, multâ attentione, in peregrinationibus per universum Orientum, collecta, ab auctore (Five fascicles of exotic pleasures regarding politics, physics, and medicine, which contain various relations, observations, and descriptions of Persian matters and regions beyond Asia collected through various expeditions through the entire Orient by the author) (Lemgoviae, Typis & impensis H.W. Meyeri, 1712), fasciculus III, observatio 13, p. 609, plate Hh hh.
The discovery of tea was ever a story of many dimensions, and the telling of the tale depended on the leaf’s use as medicine, food, or drink. Throughout history, tea was intimately related to deities, demi gods, and mortals. In Japan, the monastic use of tea as an aid to meditation was celebrated by linking the plant and its origins to Bodhidharma, the first Patriarch of Zen Buddhism.
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who traveled from India to China around the year 475 of the Common Era. Some thirty five years earlier, he was born a Brahman of the Hindu faith and a prince of the southern Indian kingdom of Pallava. He converted to Buddhism in his youth and was instructed by his teacher to go to China. Arriving by ship on the south China coast, he spent fifteen years traveling to various courts and monasteries, teaching along the way. Sometime around 490, he crossed the river Yangzi and headed north to the capital of Luoyang where he lived until his death in 528.
Bodhidharma came to China an itinerant, single-minded, and uncompromising individual who wore but a simple robe and carried a begging bowl to observe his vow of poverty. He taught that enlightenment was attained through meditation and equated meditation with realizing one’s true nature. Indeed, his name Bodhidharma meant “one who awakens and understands” and “cultivates the principles of reality.” He adhered to a routine of harsh self discipline and extreme asceticism, rigorous practices that he transmitted to his followers. In the lineage of his sect, Bodhidharma is the first Patriarch of Zen Buddhism.
Although he spent over five decades in China, Bodhidharma left no account of his activities there. Instead, legends and high tales swirled about him, placing the master in the middle of the religious strife and controversy of the time. He was portrayed as an uncouth and unattractive character. Invited by emperors to expound on Buddhist doctrine and practice, his rough appearance and blunt manner offended potential patrons. Monosyllabic and miserly with his words, he was inured to pleas from admirers for instruction until they somehow proved themselves. Only then did he take them as disciples, and in one awful instance, he took their very flesh and bone. It was said that he met threats of violence with his own form of martial arts and eluded plots of poisoning and assassination by secreting himself in caves outside the capital.
Physically and mentally tough, Bodhidharma’s posthumous portraits revealed him as coarse featured, hirsute, and typically brooding or scowling. His curt and unsparing manner alienated him from the wealth and prestige accorded clerics of a more facile and accommodating mien. He never had the ear of an emperor; no great prince ever built him a temple or monastery. He wandered around the region of Luoyang, visiting the capital’s political and cultural spheres but skirting the bright bubbles of power and wealth that attracted and trapped fat abbots and sleek priests. He did, however, impose upon his Buddhist brethren, taking their charity, staying at their monasteries, sleeping in their bare halls, and eating their monkish meals. But the alms and courtesies he received were grudgingly given for even among Buddhists Bodhidharma was an eccentric who lived a reclusive and solitary existence.
He cut an odd figure about Luoyang, walking along the crowded streets in search of the great monasteries and their dazzling temple halls and images. In the sixth century, Luoyang was one of the greatest cosmopolitan cities in the world, the glorious seat of a court that lavished patronage on the Buddhist establishment. The Yongning Pagoda was the greatest monument in the capital. Built in 516 by the dowager empress to honor her parents, the pagoda soared high above the city:
“In the middle of the monastery grounds was a nine-storied, wood pagoda, nine hundred feet high with a hundred-foot mast, rising a total of one thousand feet from the ground…At the top of the mast was a precious vessel with a capacity of twenty-five piculs of grain, and below it were arrayed thirty plates of gold to catch the morning dew, each hung about with gold bells. From the mast to the four corners of the pagoda were iron chains hung with gold bells the size of sacks of grain. The corner eaves of each of the nine stories were decorated with gold bells, from top to bottom, one hundred twenty in all…In the high winds of very deep nights, the harmonious ringing of the precious bells were heard over three miles away.”
When Bodhidharma saw the pagoda and its “gold discs reflecting the sunlight into the clouds and the wind sending the peals of its precious bells into the heavens,” he turned strangely loquacious and “chanted praises of this truly divine work, saying, ‘in my one hundred fifty years, I have traveled many countries, but there is no temple of this beauty in Jambudvīpa nor in any of the lands of Buddha.’ Chanting nanwu, he held his hands together for days on end.”
Among the tales about Bodhidharma was a rather gruesome but darkly entertaining episode at the Shaolin Temple, where it was said that he meditated for many years in a nearby cave. As he sat immobile for hours and days at a time and for years on end, Bodhidharma gradually began to lose body parts. At length, he lost his legs, which withered away, and then his arms quickly followed. In later Zen painting, he was often depicted as seated, a blank, cowled figure, a mere amoebic outline in ink, featureless and nearly formless, a shade in reverse. Then, Bodhidharma even lost his shadow. After a marathon of meditation, he moved to get up but his shadow did not. It sat fixed to the wall – a grim silhouette seated in stern rebuke – a silent admonition to return to contemplation.
While gradually losing himself in his cave, surrendering his body and ego to his spiritual quest, Bodhidharma drank tea. Tea was long used in Chinese monasteries as an aid to meditation for it stemmed hunger, cleared the mind, and sharpened resolve. Bodhidharma was introduced to tea in China, and he incorporated tea into his meditation regimen, passing the practice along to his disciples.
The legend of tea and Bodhidharma was particular to Japan where for centuries both plant and Zen Patriarch were revered as cultural icons. Bodhidharma, known as Daruma in Japan, was acknowledged by Japanese custom as the progenitor of not only Zen Buddhism and but also of tea. As the sect that relied most on meditation for enlightenment, Zen Buddhists were closely associated with tea, and Bodhidharma was the leaf’s foremost proponent. In the popular imagination, the Patriarch, the plant, and meditation were melded into a miracle tale of utter fury and bloody retribution.
As with all things concerning Bodhidharma, the genesis of tea was neither simple nor easy but rather a singularly peculiar but characteristically gory event that was in keeping with the high physical price of his ruthless meditation – a cost that the master seemed always to pay with an arm and a leg. On this occasion, the birth of tea took a more delicate part of his anatomy. As he sat in deep concentration, Bodhidharma abruptly realized that in an agonizing instant of fatigue, he had closed his eyes and dozed off to sleep. In anger at his weakness, he savagely tore at his eyes in self disgust, ripping out his eyelids and flinging them to the ground. As the leaf like lids of flesh lay bloody in the dirt, they sprouted miraculously into tea plants. Instinctively, Bodhidharma reached over and plucked a few leaves from the bushes to chew and suddenly felt as “one who awakens.” His mind clear and focused, he resumed his meditation.
The legend of Bodhidharma wasting away gave force to the popular representation of the master as the Daruma Doll. Armless and legless, hollow and weighted, the roly-poly toy always remained balanced and upright even when tipped. Decorated in bright red, the eyes of the doll were lidless and without pupils. Acquired at the New Year, resolutions were made by painting in the right eye. When at last the goal was met and the promise kept, the left eye was filled to celebrate the success. At the end of the year, the old doll is ceremoniously burned and a new one obtained. Year after year, the Daruma Doll commemorates the sacrifice and discovery of an Indian master in China so very long ago, a playful remembrance of Bodhidharma’s enlightenment and teachings, and the profound Zen legend of the marvelous origins of tea.
The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, Red Pine (Bill Porter), trans. (New York: North Point Press, 1987), pp. ix-xvii; cf. Heinrich Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History, James W. Heisig and Paul Knitter, trans. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988), vol. 1, pp. 86-89.
Yang Xüanzhi 楊衒之, Luoyang qielan ji gouchen 洛陽伽 藍記鉤沉 (Anecdotes from the Record of Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang, 547 A.D.) (Taipei: Guangwen shujü, 1969), p. 22. Corrected and emended, the translation follows William John Francis Jenner, Memories of Loyang: Yang Hsüan-chih and the Lost Capital (493-534) (Oxford: Claredon Press, 1981), p. 151.
Red Robed Bodhidharma, ca. 1260 A.D
(Daruma zenza zō 達摩禪坐, Bodhidharma Sitting in Meditation)
Japan: Kamakura period
Hanging scroll: ink and color on silk
Inscribed by Lánxī Dàolóng 蘭溪道隆 (1213–1278 A.D)
Kōgakuji Temple 向嶽寺
Daruma 達摩 (Bodhidharma), late16th century A.D.
Japan: Muromachi period
Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Torei Enji 東嶺円慈 (1721-1792 A.D.)
Meditating Daruma, 18th century
Japan: Edo period
Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Paper mache and ink and color
Dragon Well is fed by a clear mountain spring near beautiful West Lake. In ancient times, the spring’s cold, pure waters gathered in a pool known as Longhong that lay sheltered deep within an old forest. Remote and secluded, the pool became the haunt of hermits seeking solitude and tranquility.
According to legend, the pool Longhong was silent and placid, but when agitated, the waters emitted a low, mournful sigh, and a mysterious, undulating, liquid coil snaked along the rippling surface and then slowly disappeared. These strange signs marked the watery lair of the benevolent dragon that protected West Lake and the old city of Hangzhou nearby.
Lured by the weird effluence and its resident spirit, wizards and alchemists swirled the wondrous waters from the “well of the dragon” into their elixirs and potions. Tasting sweet and light, the water from Dragon Well lent its name, Longjing, to the green tea grown in the nearby valleys and terraced hills.
Dragon Well tea was but one of many fine teas produced in Hangzhou and admired by tea masters. In his Book of Tea, the eighth century A.D. poet Lu Yü wrote of the tea grown around bountiful West Lake. The slopes of Mount Tianzhu and the Tang temple gardens at the great Lingyin and Tianzhu monasteries produced teas, which though “third in quality,” were considered by Lu Yü still very fine. By the Song period, Dragon Well tea was among over ninety teas worthy of note. Connoisseurs of the Ming dynasty described its qualities: “The taste of Dragon Well is strong and rich, its color like light gold, its essence still and deep. It is long on the palate, and on the tongue, it is fresh and moist and full.”
Pu’er cha 普洱茶 is a hot Chinese drink familiar to almost anyone eating in an old Hong Kong style restaurant and drinking its tea. In such a place and in times long past, Pu’er was the only tea of consequence. This was especially true in San Francisco’s Chinatown, which in the early 1950s was packed, cheek by jowl, with dives like the Buddha Lounge and green grocers and a myriad restaurants, big and small.
At the high end of the culinary scale was Kan’s, a posh establishment with plush drapes and upholstered chairs, where suave waiters paraded in slicked back hair, starched white shirts, bowties, and black vests, serving exotic bird’s nest soup and sauced sea cucumbers. Kan’s menu raised the bar, attracting well heeled patrons, politicians, and movie stars.
A humbler affair but equally famous, Sam Wo occupied a unique spot on the eat-o-meter. Housed in a narrow space squeezed tightly between two buildings, the sparsely furnished upper floors were reached only by brushing past fiery stoves and wiry cooks wielding cleavers and woks. Sizzling and splattering, the tiny kitchen dished out congee 粥, fen 粉, and noodles 麵, the “three harmonies” for which Sam Wo 三和 was named.
Sam Wo’s questionable charm was perversely enhanced by rickety stools and wobbly tables and a notoriously insolent waiter. Choosing the unlikely name Edsel Ford Fong, he roundly entertained everyone by gruffly abusing each customer while expertly tossing about clattering plates of savory chowmein, bowls of wonton, and mounds of sliced raw fish with slivers of red ginger over crisped noodles.
Regardless of the place chosen – high or low – once seated, all were welcomed by a steaming pot of tea served out in a small cup as a matter of custom and courtesy, and because a proper meal always began with Pu’er.
On the weekends, Pu’er tea was essential when observing yumcha 飲茶, literally to “drink tea,” an occasion when whole families met for brunch over rounds of dimsum 點心, the nearly endless array of savory fare that was so expensive to create that only restaurants offered it, so dizzyingly rich that it was served just in small portions, and so utterly satisfying that it “dotted the heart.” As each delicious morsel was consumed, empty pots were replenished and cups refilled, the Pu’er sipped slowly to cleanse the palate in anticipation of the lush flavors of the next tempting dish. As plates piled up and bits of gossip flew about the table, drinking Pu’er tea aided digestion, stemmed the tide of triglycerides, and cleared foggy heads. And in those empty moments of soft silence, a sip of Pu’er and a pensive nod helped fill the conversation.
On the way home, a stop at the Chinese store acquired the week’s household quota of loose Pu’er packed in a small square tin. Back at the house, opening the box revealed an inner lid and inside that, a cellophane bag chock full of dark brown leaves mixed with twigs and stems. When opened, the tea filled the nose with the scent of dry wood and dirt.
A heaping tablespoon fed a perpetual Pu’er that filled the old pot, kept warm in a wicker cozy, the tea shared by young and old throughout the day quenching thirst, refreshing the mind, restoring vigor, and lifting the mood.
The tea was drunk all year round, but in summer or hot weather dried chrysanthemum blossoms were added for their cooling effect. To treat a cold or for just a treat, children drank Pu’er poured steaming hot over a piece of preserved fruit such as longan, jujube, or lemon peel that flavored the tea. When the tea was finished, the juicy bit was a tasty prize sucked and swallowed. On Chinese holidays, crystallized ginger, sugared coconut and lotus root were traditional favorites for sweetening life and cups of Pu’er.
As with all good things – polished rice, sesame oil, fragrant soy, and fine vinegar – Pu’er tea was indispensable, and its very presence the certain sign of a prospering and stable home.