The greatest tea master Sen-no-Rikyu created Wabi-cha, which is the mainstream of the present tea ceremony, in the second half of the 16th century. But he was ordered to commit harakiri in 1591 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the de-facto ruler of Japan at that time. It is said that Toyotomi Hideyoshi became envious of Sen-no-Rikyu since Rikyu’s tremendous popularity as an outstanding tea master exceeded Hideyoshi’s as the ruler. Gamo Ujisato, the then feudal lord of the Aizu domain, was anxious about the discontinuance of Wabi-cha tea ceremony by the death of this greatest tea master. He consequently sheltered Sen-no Shoan, the son in law of Rikyu, in Aizu and asked together with Tokugawa Ieyasu for the continuance of Wabi-cha tea ceremony by Shoan. Gamo Ujisato built Rinkaku tea house in the main compound of Aizu Castle for Shoan staying in Aizu. Thanks to this plea, Shoan was allowed to return to Kyoto in 1594 and later his three grandsons established three different kinds of the Sen schools of Wabi-cha, such as Omote-Sen-school, Ura-Sen-school and Mushakouji Sen school. These three schools still are the main tea ceremony schools in Japan.
Rinkaku tea house, after Shoan left Aizu, was treated with care though, it was relocated to outside the castle compound right before the Aizu War. But it was put back where it was in 1990.
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