Once there was a famous Japanese tea master called Sen no Rikyu. Rikyu was a spiritual man who believed in simplicity and the beauty of nature. When he performed the tea ceremony he would carefully choose beautiful but simple pots and bowls.
One day a warlord called Hideyoshi was riding past Rikyu’s house when he noticed the teamaster’s beautiful garden, full of the most wonderful flowers – morning glory flowers. Hideyoshi was so impressed with the garden that he stopped and asked Rikyu to hold a tea ceremony for him there the next day. The tea master was a very different man from the rich and powerful soldier who had been fighting all his life. He was thoughtful and quiet but despite this he reluctantly agreed to perform the ceremony.
When Hideyoshi arrived the next day as they’d agreed, he was shocked to see that Rikyu had cut down all the flowers in the garden. Not one flower was left. The warlord was furious and stormed into the tea house to confront Rikyu but was stopped in his tracks by the sight of the teamaster calmly waiting to make tea for the warlord.
Behind Rikyu there was a simple brown pot and in the pot was one absolutely perfect morning glory flower. When Hideyoshi saw it, he immediately understood why Rikyu had cut down the flowers in the garden.