The World of the TEA
Deep and Wide Background of the Tea
Traditionally graceful entertainment and amusement
A kind of gambling games becoming popular among the intellectual in Kyoto between the late Kamakura period and the middle of the Muromachi period.
The term "Tocha" refers to a tea competition with Matcha where participants taste different kinds of tea to compete in discerning them, between Honcha and Hicha. The tea produced in the area Toganoo/Kyoto was particularly called Honcha (literally, "real tea"), which was distinguished from Hicha (tea other than Honcha) produced in other places.
Nowadays, the system has been changed systematically and using Gyokuro and Sencha instead of Matcha to improve the knowledge and experiences for the people working in the tea merchandizing business.
"KIGEN" -Its Origin
During the Muromachi period, there was a gambling game called Tocha (tea competition) among the intellectual in Kyoto, where participants were made to guess the tea brand and place of production.
The first Tocha was held as a game to differentiate between Honcha and Hicha. The tea produced in the area Toganoo/Kyoto was particularly called Honcha (literally, "real tea"), which was distinguished from Hicha (tea other than Honcha) produced in other places.
And "Kabuki" was born from the new-waved manner "Kabuku(to behave oddly)" and the Tocha was also named "Cha-Kabuki" from Kabuki and became popular among the normal citizens. Nowadays there are no needs to care for any serious manners or behaviors, everybody can take part in Chakabuki, a kind of traditional and cultural tea tasting/rating game.
"KYOUGI-HOUHOU" - How to Compete or Enjoy
For Chakabuki, two different kinds of Gyokuro green tea (refined green tea) and three different kinds of Sencha green tea (of middle grade) are selected. Each of these 5 assortment is named randomly with one of following named, "flower", "birds", "wind","moon" and "guest". Each of five selected tea is put into a tea pot with its name chip. Also the participants can have their name chips (also five pieces) for voting later. Boiled water is poured in it and infused 90 seconds. And the tea is served to the percipients for their blind tasting.
For example, one of the participants guesses that the first served tea can be the one named "flower" among these 5 tea, so he/she picks the name chip "flower" and put it into the first slot of a voting case. Once all the participants answer and vote, the first round is finished and its correct answer is advised.
This round is repeated another four times and the total scores from these 5 rounds can determine the ranking of the participants.
Each of five selected tea is put into a tea pot with its name chip in advance. Boiled water is poured in it and infused 90 seconds. If a participant can answer all the questions correctly, it's called "Kaiten (full score)" and he/she can get 5 points. But if someone can get zero at the competition, people don't call it directly "zero score" but with more cute and encouraging description "Chotto(means : a little bit)"