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Gengensai was the 11th head of the Urasenke school of tea ceremony, and was head of the school at the time of the Meiji Restoration. He is credited with a number of changes to tea practice, including opening Urasenke to women who wished to study tea formally.

At the 1872 Kyoto Exposition, in part to accommodate to foreign visitors who might have had difficulty sitting in the Japanese fashion, Gengensai introduced a new form of tea ceremony, called ryƻrei, which was performed seated on chairs around a table.


  • Voltaire Garces Cang. "Preserving Intangible Heritage in Japan: The Role of the Iemoto System." International Journal of Intangible Heritage 3 (2008). 73.
  • Rebecca Corbett, Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan, University of Hawaii Press (2018), 28-29.
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