2011/01/15

"Ippuku" for Medicine and Tea

Thanks to the recent study on tea, its benefit is now widely well-known. However, this is not brand-new findings. Looking back the history of tea, we can see that it was originally treated like medicine. This original idea has long been alive even in Japanese language.

Nowadays, Japanese usually say ippai for "a cup of" tea in our daily lives. In the past, the term ippuku was more common instead. Interestingly, this ippuku also refers to "a dose of" medicine now, as then. That is, both tea and medicine were expressed by using the same word. This may be proof that tea was considered as precious as medicine was.

As I mentioned earlier, although the word ippai is more common for tea now, Matcha, served at Japanese tea ceremony, inherits a tradition.
"A bowl of" Macha is still called as ippuku.

In addition, ippuku can be put "break" or "rest" in English. This may show that tea is essential during break time.

I am sure today’s topic makes you complicated. So, Ippuku shimasho! (Let’s have a break!)