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Tea Leaves

Japan's life lessons in a cup of tea

Traditional tea ceremony remains relevant to contemporary life

The tea ceremony encourages us to slow down and appreciate the beauty in everyday life. (Nikkei montage/Photos by Getty Images)

I have spent decades steeped in Japanese culture, and yet I still marvel at the complexities of the traditional tea ceremony.

On a recent visit to Nison-in, a temple at the foot of Mount Ogura in Saga, Kyoto, created in the ninth century by an order of Emperor Saga, I was served tea in a room moved from the Imperial Palace that had once been the powder room of Princess Yoshiko, a daughter of Emperor Gomizunoo.

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