Sen no Rikyu is considered to be, according to Wikipedia, the historical figure with the most profound influence on the Japanese "Way of Tea". He was also the first to emphasize several key aspects of the ceremony, including rustic simplicity, directness of approach and honesty of self. These aspects of the tea ceremony persist. Here's a 5 1/2 minute video overview of his life:
This 3 1/2 minute video focuses on the tea ceremony itself:
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