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Who Was Myōan Eisai?

When we first started Eisa (pronounced eye-sah) Tea Co., we decided to name ourselves after the Buddhist monk and absolute tea legend Myōan Eisai. But you might be wondering, why choose this wee fella'?

Who was Myoan Eisai?

Well, Myōan Eisai was famed for his pivotal role in introducing and popularising Zen Buddhism and tea culture in Japan. The latter especially is something that we're pretty big fans of.

On Eisai's journey to China, he studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of the Chinese Zen master Wuzhun Shifan. And upon his return to Japan, he brought this Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism back with him, laying the foundation for Zen practice in his homeland.

But Eisai wasn't just a big fan of meditation and enlightenment – also he had a taste for tea (but then again, don't we all?). He brought back (*smuggled) tea seeds and the knowledge of tea cultivation from China, creating what would later result in Japan's rich tea culture. Cool, right?

Myoan Eisai and his history in tea

In addition to his practical contributions, Eisai penned several influential writings, including "Kissa Yojoki," a wonderful lil' treatise extolling the health benefits of tea consumption. He wanted people to be healthy and happy while sipping on their tea – and this is something we can really relate to.

Eisai was a monk, a tea enthusiast, and a key player in shaping Japan's spiritual and cultural tapestry, and his impact on both the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Japan remains an integral part of the country's history.

Myōan Eisai stands for everything we believe in – pushing great quality tea, making it accessible to people everywhere, and engaging in a little bit of rebellion against the current tea market.


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