This paper traces the historical antecedents and influences on modern Chinese tea arts. What is now commonly known as gongfucha, which has become the standard Chinese tea ceremony, was originally a regional custom from the Chaozhou area of China. Through the twentieth century this custom was first taken up by Taiwanese pioneers, repackaged as an element of quintessential Chinese culture, and then exported back to mainland China since the 1980s. During this process of the reimagination of the Chaozhou practice of gongfucha, foreign elements of the Japanese tea ceremony, especially influences from senchadō, were included. As it becomes adopted throughout China as a new national custom, however, this foreign contribution is obscured and forgotten, and replaced with a national narrative that emphasizes links to the past.
A Foreign Infusion: The Forgotten Legacy of Japanese Chadō on Modern Chinese Tea Arts
Lawrence Zhang received his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. He has taught at Bowdoin College and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong. He is currently pursuing research on the history of the circulation of knowledge of tea in East Asia. He is also an avid tea drinker and maintains an active blog on Chinese tea at www.marshaln.com.
Lawrence Zhang; A Foreign Infusion: The Forgotten Legacy of Japanese Chadō on Modern Chinese Tea Arts. Gastronomica 1 February 2016; 16 (1): 53–62. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2016.16.1.53
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