TSUBAKI, Camellia japonica, at Koto-in Daitokuji Temple, in Kyoto
This flower is called Tsubaki in Japan, Camellia, very popular in Japan and often used in tea ceremony as a decoration of Tokonoma, the main alcove of tatami room for guests. But only buds are used in the ceremony, never used the opened flower. Why are buds Tsubaki preferred in the tea ceremony?
Masters of tea ceremony specially love the sense of simple-yet-elegant, which is one of important elements of the beauty senses in tea ceremony.
The beauty of tea ceremony is, in a sense, the beauty of harmony. The aesthetic of harmony is made up with the mixture of many kinds of tea tools with a set of players' graceful carriages. Each elements is totally simple and modest and should never be showy and prominent. Excessiveness would break the harmony. Full opened flowers are thought to be rather gaudy in the realm of tranquility. The bloom would break the harmony based on the sense of the tea ceremony. A choir in a small town never needs superstars such as Luciano Pararotti or Placido Domingo.
Tea ceremony is consisted of simple yet elegant ones, and creates deep and long-lasting beauty.
By the way, Tsubaki's flower language says that this flower means natural beauty, simple elegance and modest. And, Shiseido, a leading Japanese cosmetics company, has used this flower as its trademark.