Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL
       
     
Prairie Prose - Tea House Edition Cooperative Poetry Game Set
       
     
Japanese Tea Garden, The Huntington, San Marino, CA
       
     
Tea House, Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL
       
     
Sōzu Water Fountain, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, IL
       
     
A Fragrant Mélange : Jasmine, Mint, Roses, Lavender, White & Green Tea Leaves
       
     
Moon Bridge, Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL
       
     
Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL
       
     
Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL

Frank Lloyd Wright, the Griffins and other architects of the Prairie School admired Japanese culture for the expression of nature they found in Japanese ukiyo–e woodblock prints and in the design of both Japanese gardens and homes.

Japanese monks and scholars expressed their appreciation for nature in waka and haiku poems with Chinese calligraphy, sometimes combined with drawings and watercolors of natural landscapes on handmade paper and silk, mounted on tapestry cloth to be seasonally hung as scrolls in homes and tea rooms. Wright and others collected Japanese scrolls and woodblock prints for inspiration in their life and work.

George and Nelle Fabyan were deeply inspired by their visit to the Japanese Pavilion at the Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition. In 1907, Wright enlarged and remodeled their extant farmhouse into the Fabyan Villa, a Prairie-Style home that housed their personal collection of Asian artifacts and more, complemented by the Japanese Garden they commissioned renowned landscape designer Taro Otsuka to create in 1910.

Prairie Prose - Tea House Edition Cooperative Poetry Game Set
       
     
Prairie Prose - Tea House Edition Cooperative Poetry Game Set

bergamot voices
greeting cherry blossom dreams
upon perfection

A creative, social experience that gives players voice through poetry. Imaginative, whimsical, and playfully zen.

Simple to play for 2-6 players of all ages who can read and count. Players create seasonal haiku poems with themed words inspired by Japanese tea culture and writings on nature inscribed on hand-cut paper petals. The game set includes: instructions, an assortment of poetry petals, bonus petals and gingko leaf messages, an imagined tea field grasses play mat, hand painted on organic, muslin fabric with a drawstring storage sack, original tea garden postcards, blank poetry booklet, and references. Especially created for fans of Japanese tea culture.

Prairie Prose Tea House Edition
was made after the creation of Prairie Prose Special Edition – a unique poetry game inspired by the works and writings of Jens Jensen and his friends who were all part of the Prairie School Era in the Midwest. Jensen designed a Japanese Tea House and Water Garden for Humboldt Park in Chicago, circa 1907, surrounded by perennial flowers and a lovely lotus bed so park visitors could enjoy quiet moments of contemplation from the hustle and bustle of city life.

A unique, locally made, cooperative green game. No special assembly required.

With special thanks to Michel Ségard and Nancy Melvin.

Japanese Tea Garden, The Huntington, San Marino, CA
       
     
Japanese Tea Garden, The Huntington, San Marino, CA

Flowers from an unknown tree
Filled me with their fragrance.

Bashō


In 1906, The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo was first published in English in America, introducing a history of tea, Japanese tea ceremony, ikebana, architecture, and art appreciation to Westerners, while exploring philosophies of Taoism and Zen.

Tea House, Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL
       
     
Tea House, Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL

The Seven Rules of Tea
By Sen No Rikyu, The Great Tea Master

I. Make a delicious bowl of tea.
III. Lay the charcoal so that the water boils evenly.
III. Suggest a sense of warmth in winter and coolness in summer.
IV. Arrange the flowers as though they are in a field.
V. Be prepared ahead of time.
VI. Be prepared if it should rain.
VII. Give every consideration toward your guests.

Sōzu Water Fountain, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, IL
       
     
Sōzu Water Fountain, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, IL

Water gently trickles through bamboo, striking a sharp musical tone as it falls against the rock water basin. This rhythmical sequence repeats as the hollow bamboo branch recycles its water source to greet guests at the entry of the Tea Garden footpath, while dually used to startle animals. Also called Shishi-odoshi - 鹿威し- a scare deer, or used like a scare crow.

The Four Basic Principles of Tea Ceremony
By Sen No Rikyu, The Great Tea Master

和 WA: Harmony
敬 KEI: Respect
静 SEI: Purity
寂 JAKU: Tranquility

A Fragrant Mélange : Jasmine, Mint, Roses, Lavender, White & Green Tea Leaves
       
     
A Fragrant Mélange : Jasmine, Mint, Roses, Lavender, White & Green Tea Leaves

Over the years, I have exchanged a selection of teas between friends, family and colleagues for their unique taste and health benefits. Matcha, white, oolong, rooibos, and herbal blends with organic ingredients were among favourites found on travels and in local specialty tea shops in the U.S. and Europe. This adventure in tea tasting plus many visits to local Japanese Tea Gardens and Tea Ceremonies were all inspiring in creating a Tea House Edition of Prairie Prose – for poetry can be learned in making and serving the perfect cup of tea.

Favourite Teas: various Jasmine blends and Matcha

Moon Bridge, Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL
       
     
Moon Bridge, Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden, Geneva, IL

I break my fast
amidst the morning glory.


Bashō

We listen to the unspoken,
we gaze upon the unseen.


Okakura Kakuzo

Coming and going
Without beginning or end
Like ever-changing
White-clouds

Rengetsu