Kaiseki cuisine (tea ceremony-type)
"Kaiseki" dishes served at a tea ceremony
This "kaiseki" cuisine of a tea ceremony originated as a light meal served to soothe the hunger of "zen" monks. "Kai" originally meant bosom and "seki" stone. This type of cuisine was named so because the supper seemed to the monks just like carrying a warm stone in the bosom in order to soothe the hunger. The word "tenshin" derived from the Chinese word for a light meal that has the original meaning of turning on an empty mind. These "kaiseki" cuisine dishes are served as a prelude to the tea ceremony just as sweets are sometimes served. The difference between this type of cuisine from the "kaiseki" cuisine described above lies in the avoidance of excess.