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Along with a scroll of calligraphy, one can expect to see a simple flower arrangement (chabana) in the alcove of the tea room (chashitsu).   This has been a decorative element of the tea ceremony space since the time of Sen no Rikyu.

There are many schools of Japanese Flower Arranging (Ikebana or Kado, in Japanese), and modern chabana tends toward the simpler styles, often relying on just one or two sprigs, or a few modest blossoms.  This is in keeping with the somewhat austere, Zen atmosphere of the Tea Ceremony.   Vases or stands used in chabana are often taller than those used in Ikebana, and usually made of ceramic or bamboo.

The next time you enjoy the tea ceremony, take a moment to consider the flower arrangement in the alcove.  Your host has probably taken the time to create an ideal expression for that particular season, day and moment.