Matsuo-ryu School (松尾流)

Matsuo-ryu school is a school of the tea ceremony, originated by Soji MATSUO. The head of the school is the Shoinkai, a foundation located in Higashi Ward, Nagoya City.

The Matsuo family was founded by Gensai TSUJI, an adopted son of the Tsuji family in Sakai, who carried on as a dealer in kimono fabrics under the company name of Sumiya in Kyoto.
Gensai TSUJI, who was a disciple of Jo TAKENO, is well known as a senior apprentice who initiated SEN no Rikyu into daisu temae (the tea ceremony using daisu, a utensil stand.)
Since then until the age of Munetoshi MATSUO, the Matsuo family enjoyed themselves in the tea ceremony in addition to their basic business as a dealer in kimono fabrics.
Among the family's heads, Soji MATSUO (Bussai), was a well known disciple of SEN no Sotan, from whom he was awarded a description of 'Rakushiken' together with a chashaku (bamboo tea spoon for making Japanese tea) and a flower vase, each having an inscription of 'Rakushi.'
These three items were designated as family treasures and have been used only at the tea ceremonies for announcing the succession of the family.

The first head of the family, Soji MATSUO (Rakushisai), who was born in Omi and adopted by the Matsuo familly, became firstly a disciple of Shuha MACHIDA to learn the tea ceremony and delved into its secrets under the guidance of the sixth head of Omote-Senke school, Kakukakusai. In the age of Kyoho, when the Sowa-ryu school was dominant among the town people in Nagoya, Kakukakusai dispatched Shuha MACHIDA to Nagoya by their request to give them lessons of the tea ceremony. Since Shuha MACHIDA died after a short time, Rakushisai Soji was sent to Nagoya to succeed him in 1724. At the same time, Rakushisai Soji received a special favor from the Konoe family and the Takatsukasa family in Kyoto, so he had to travel frequently between Kyoto and Nagoya and tried his best to disseminate the tea ceremony. Since then, the heads of Matsuo family became accustomed to travel between Kyoto and Nagoya, while the second head, Gankosai, added another official business with the lord of the Owari Domain. Among the heads of the Matsuo family, the fifth head, Fushunsai, who was the husband of the younger sister of the fourth head, Fukansai, was a prodigy with extraordinary talents for earthware, architecture, gardening and poetry, and regarded as the originator of the restoration of Matsuo-ryu school.

At the end of Edo period, then-current head Kokosai had to emigrate his family to Nagoya due to a fire caused by the Battle of Toba and Fushimi who burned his residence at Oshinokoji-dori street, Higashinotoin-dori street, Kyoto. The eldest son of Kokosai performed ascetic practices of Zen at Kohoan, Daitoku-ji Temple, in order to succeed the Matsuo-ryu school, but, once he returned to Nagoya after Zen practices, he became a Zen priest. Consequently, the third son of Kokosai succeeded the Matsuo-ryu school as its eighth head, Kyukosai, after the sudden death of the seventh head Kokosai, but after his four year service as the head, Kyukosai went abroad to Taiwan. After all, the eldest son of Kokosai, who had been a Zen priest, returned to secular life to succeed the Matsuo family as the nineth head Hankosai. Since Hankosai also died young, the tenth head Fusensai succeeded the family after performing ascetic practices for 13 years under the guidance of the twelfth head of the Omote-Senke school, Seisai. During the vacant period without a head, the Matsuo-ryu school was maintained chiefly by his younger sister, Sanetomo MATSUO, who was later awarded to become the eleventh head of the family.

Successive Heads
Matsuo-ryu School

[Original Japanese]