Yoken-ryu School (庸軒流)

Yoken-ryu school is the name generally given to a school of Sado (tea ceremony) that regards Yoken FUJIMURA as its founder. It is largely divided into a number of groups as a result of its teachings being passed on to successive generations of the family during its early days; furthermore, each region has its own tradition of succession.

History and Genealogy
Yoken FUJIMURA was the second son of Soei HISADA, the ancestor of the Hisada family, and he is said to have been adopted by the Fujimura family, who ran a shop called Juniya that dealt in kimono fabrics. Having become fully proficient in the tea ceremony under the tutelage of SEN no Sotan, Yoken was considered to have been one of Sotan's four best students. Monjin (pupils) of Yoken FUJIMURA include many who are distinguished in tea preparation, and their genealogies have been passed down, respectively. Of those, the styles by Seiin FUJIMURA, Ryuka KONDO, and Soseki HIKITA are still present today.

The original Juniya of the Fujimura family was succeeded by Joken, the first son of Yoken, and continued by employing adoption along the way, but the genealogy of tea preparation came to an end with only Joken and Shoken.

Successive Heads of the Fujimura Family (Juniya)

Style by Shoin FUJIMURA
Born as the second son of Yoken, Shoin FUJIMURA became an adopted son of Kantoya, a tea dealer in Osaka. As Shoin was in poor health throughout his life, it is said that Sado became his sole entertainment. Kantoya was ran by Yoken's relatives, its originator being Tsugukazu FUJIMURA, Yoken's uncle; Kantoya was temporarily discontinued after Seisai in spite of successions by adopted sons, but it was later restored. After Seisai FUJIMURA, Sado was supported by Kanzan, a chief priest of Myofuku-ji temple, and is thus regarded as a restored art. This genealogy is called Shoin FUJIMURA-ha group, and today this tradition is carried on in Kyoto.

Monjin of Shoin FUJIMURA includes Dosetsu SAITO (1684 - 1766), who was originally from Osaka but later introduced the Yoken-ryu school in Edo (present-day Tokyo). Although this genealogy was introduced in Tokyo along with Kado (flower arrangement) of Yoken-ryu school, Sado died out during the early Showa period.

Shoin FUJIMURA-ha Group

Style by Ryuka KONDO
Ryuka KONDO went to Tsu at the request of the Todo clan of the domain of Tsu to serve as a saju (priest in charge of tea ceremony in Zen temple); for generations afterwards, the Kondo family played the role of a coach in the Todo family. After Ryuka, the eighth head of the Kondo family, the genealogy divided into Sotsu KONO in Tsu and Muan MURAGUCHI in Tokyo, and further into Muan SUGAMORI in Tokyo; thus there are three genealogies today. These three genealogies are collectively called the Ryuka KONDO-ha group.

Ryuka KONDO-ha Group

Style by Soseki HIKITA
Soseki HIKITA was a wealthy merchant who operated Daimonjiya in Kyoto, and he is also known to have owned famous products such as Hino Katatsuki (fine tea container). The fifth head, Soken NAKATA, was an adopted son who came from the Tsuji clan of Katata, Omi Province, and as he had many Monjin he dominated the tea ceremony community of Kyoto at the end of the Edo period. The seventh head, Gassan, resided in Keishun-in as the five-hundred thirty-seventh chief priest of Myoshin-ji Temple, and his Montei (disciples) included Chuken ISHIKAWA, Taikan HASEGAWA, and Dokei YUGENAN. As such, the Montei separated into respective genealogies, but these genealogies are collectively called the Soseki HIKITA-ha group.

Soseki HIKITA-ha Group

Other Matters
Yuan KITAMURA (1650 - 1719) was a wealthy farmer of Katata, Omi Province and was conversant in kaiseki-ryori (set of dishes served on an individual tray for entertaining guests) and landscape gardening, and he left a name in Yuan Yaki (Japanese grill, using meat or fish which are marinated, impaled on long skewers and broiled over hot coals), among other things. Although the tradition was succeeded by the Kitamura family for generations, the family line failed in 1913 with the death of the ninth head, Tsuguhisa TSUJI.

Taian YAMAMOTO was also from Katata, Omi Province, and he was conversant in the Yonekawa-ryu school of Kodo (traditional incense-smelling ceremony). The genealogy of tea preparation was passed down by the Yagura family of the Nishinotoin-dori Street, Kyoto, and was traditionally succeeded for generations, but it died out during the Meiji period.

Toho YOKOI (1639 - 1725) was a wealthy merchant in Nakadachiuri-dori Street, Kyoto, and he was also conversant in the Yonekawa-ryu school of Kodo. The genealogy is said to have been passed down to Matamu KUBO, Yoshitaka KUBO, and Norikazu NAKAMURA, but it is considered to have died out before the end of the Edo period.

Soan KUSUMI (1636 - 1728) was from Kyoto and was a son-in-law of Yoken FUJIMURA. He was famous as the author of "Sawa Shigetsu Shu" (tea ceremony book), and as he was a pupil of SEN no Sotan in the beginning, he is sometimes counted as one of Sotan's four best students.