The Tea-Master and The Assassin
Taikoa warrior who lived in Japan before the Tokugawa erastudied Cha-no-yutea etiquettewith Sen no Rikyua teacher of that aesthetical expression of calmness and contentment.
Taiko's attendant warrior Kato interpreted his superior's enthusiasm for tea etiquette as negligence of state affairsso he decided to kill Sen no Rikyu. He pretended to make a social call upon the tea-master and was invited to drink tea.
The masterwho was well skilled in his artsaw at a glance the warrior's intentionso he invited Kato to leave his sword outside before entering the room for the ceremonyexplaining that Cha-no-yu represents peacefulness itself.
Kato would not listen to this. "I am a warrior he said. I always have my sword with me. Cha-no-yu or no Cha-no-yuI have my sword."
Very well. Bring your sword in and have some tea,consented Sen no Rikyu.
The kettle was boiling on the charcoal fire. Suddenly Sen no Rikyu tipped it over. Hissing steam arosefilling the room with smoke and ashes. The startled warrior ran outside.
The tea-master apologized. "It was my mistake. Come back in and have some tea. I have your sword here covered with ashes and will clean it and give it to you."
In this predicament the warrior realized he could not very well kill the tea-masterso he gave up the idea.