What is the Japanese tea ceremony? ‘A highly structured method of preparing powdered green tea in the company of guests.’1 Such a descriptive definition leads to the more crucial question: Why does a ‘highly structured method’ exist to prepare tea? Typically, without answering this ultimate question, more descriptive explanations follow, for example, ‘The tea ceremony incorporates the preparation of and service of food as well as the study and utilization of architecture, gardening, ceramics, calligraphy, history, and religion. . . .’2 Here, what the tea ceremony is for is no longer in question.