The History of Japanese Green Tea

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Kelly Macquire
published on 18 March 2024

Did you know that, according to legend, tea came from the eyelids of a monk?

Green Tea in Japan has a long history, dating back to the 8th century where it began its importance in the country as a stimulant for meditating monks. In both the traditions of China and Japan, tea or cha was discovered by an Indian sage in the fifth to sixth century. This Indian sage, Daruma (also known as Bodhidharma), was the founder of Chan Buddishm, the precursor to Zen Buddhism – after spreading his new doctrine, he founded the Shaolin temple in southern China

Tea became popular with the Buddhist monks for keeping sleep away, and is made by adding hot water to the young leaves, leaf tips, and buds. It was thought that tea had some medicinal qualities and we know now that the antioxidant tannins in tea can help strengthen the immune system. Monks visiting Japan in the eighth century, as well as travelling traders and diplomats, introduced tea to Japan in the eighth century, and some Japanese monks visited China and brought back both tea seeds themselves, as well as the cultural practice of tea drinking.

This video was kindly sponsered by Nio Teas! Check them out here



0:00​ Introduction

The History of Japanese Green Tea
Japanese Tea Ceremony
Tea in Ancient China and Japan–japan/
A Traditional Japanese House
Life in a Japanese Buddhist Monastery

The History of Tea and the Spread of "Cha" and "Tea" Around the Globe
Introduction to the History of Ancient Japan
Samurai, the Medieval Japanese Warriors

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#japanesegreentea #greentea #historyofmatcha

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2024, March 18). The History of Japanese Green Tea. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The History of Japanese Green Tea." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 18, 2024.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The History of Japanese Green Tea." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 18 Mar 2024. Web. 20 Jul 2024.