What are the differences between Ura Senke and Omote Senke Tea Ceremony Schools?

tea Tea ceremony, Maikoya

There are 3 main tea ceremony schools each of which was founded by the descendants of Senno Rikyu. The biggest and most popular school is Urasenke school followed by Omotesanke and Mushanokoujisenke. The procedures tend to be very similar except for a few minor differences. The philosophy is also the same except for preference for guest satisfaction vs. preference for simplicity and procedures.


Urasenke school and omotesenke school can be contrasted as  follow:

  • Urasenke school’s main priority is the satisfaction of the guest while the Omotesenke school focuses more on simplicity. Urasenke school thinks it is OK to have the guests sit on stools because the guest’s satisfaction is the most important thing. 
  • Urasenke school also strives to use the high quality and unique utensils to impress the guests. Omotesenke school prefers simpler tools.
  • Urasenke school proposes folding the fukusa by two hands while the Omotesenke school recommends using one hand. 
  • Urasenke school uses an untreated yellow bamboo whisk (chasen) versus the dark chasen used by the omotesenke school. 
  • Urasenke school makes the tea more frothy and bubbly while Omotesenke school makes it less frothy.
  • Urasenke and Omotesenke schools have different way of certification and different ways of calling teachers. The length of study to receive a tea ceremony teacher license is not equal for Urasenke and Omotesenke.
  • Read more about Urasenke School
  • Read more about Omotesenke School