Kitamuki Dōchin


Tea Ceremony

Tea Master


Kitamuki Dōchin was a tea master during the Sengoku period.  He lived from Eishō 1 (1504) to 1/18 of Eiroku 5 (1562) and resided in the town of Henomatsu in Sakai in Izumi Province.  He was the original instructor of Sen no Rikyū.

His real surname was Araki.  Having resided in the town of Kitamuki in Sakai, he adopted the name of Kitamuki.  (Under another explanation, he adopted the name because his home faced northward.)  Dōchin was a wealthy merchant and known as a thinker, but the leading theory is that his main occupation was as a doctor.

He became a recluse, learning the Higashiyama style of tea from Shima Ukon (Kūkai), a disciple of Nōami, an artist and practitioner of the tea ceremony from the Muromachi period.  Dōchin had a close relationship with Takeno Jōou who lived nearby.  There is a well-known story when he recommended his pupil, Sen no Sōeki (later known as Sen no Rikyū), to Jōou to become his apprentice.

Known to favor goods from China, he possessed many valuable items including scripts from a Chinese monk who use the pseudonym of Kidō affiliated with the Rinzai sect from the time of the Southern Song dynasty in the thirteenth century, armor pieces, and fine quality tea cups, in addition to a precious kettle later presented to Oda Nobunaga.

In contrast to styles of the tea ceremony known as wabicha (based on an elemental state of mind) or sōan-no-cha (thatched hut tea) taught by Takeno Jōou, Dōchin taught styles known as daisu-no-cha (utensil stand tea) and shoin-no-cha (alcove tea), but also had meaningful influence on the wabicha of Sen no Rikyū.  His grave is at the site of the family temple at the Myōhō Temple (affiliated with the Nichren sect) in Sakai.


He arranged his tea room to face west, and, when one person noted that arrangement is not desirable because the light is unstable, Dōchin responded that tea ceremonies were held only in the morning hours.