Sen no Rikyu and his book of secrets
Southern Record was an alleged book of secrets describing the teachings of Sen no Rikyu—16th century Japanese tea master known for perfecting the tea ceremony and raising it to the level of an art.
After Rikyu's death, the book was lost. One hundred years later, in 1686, the chief vassal of the Kuroda clan happened to find the book on his way to Edo. He transcribed the work into five volumes, adding two further volumes when more documents came to light. He then named the seven volume book Southern Record. The collection was regarded as a direct record of Rikyu’s teachings and continued to influence the Japanese way of tea—in particular the concept of wabi-cha and its emphasis on simplicity.
After moving back to the US from Tokyo, we craved the fresh and ever-present green teas we drank on a daily basis while living in Japan. But as it turns out, these teas are difficult to find stateside.
So we decided to search out the farmers and producers who are making this delicious tea and share it with you.
With the goal of sharing the secrets of Japanese tea with the western world, we named our business Southern Record.
Southern Record was founded on May 1, 2019, coinciding with the beginning of the new Reiwa era in Japan. Our mission is to share the unique Japanese green teas that rarely make it out of country, and in the process help small, family-run farms thrive.