Monday, 2 May 2016

Soeki Rikyu

                Although he was not a monk, the tea master Soeki Rikyu is the subject of many stories which are now part of the Zen tradition.  One of the most famous tells of a visit that his patron, General Toyotomi Hideyoshi, intended to make to the master’s tea-house. Hideyoshi had been told that the morning glories blooming beside it were particularly impressive that year. When he arrived at the tea-house, however, he discovered that Rikyu had cut down all the vines. On entering the small tea-room, Hideyoshi found a single flower placed in a vase. Rikyu, following the example of Murata Shuko, had sacrificed all the morning glories outside for the sake of a single blossom.

[Soeki Rikyu – Zen Masters of Japan: 151-154]

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