The historically reliable document about the origin of tea drinking in Japan is the description that “tea was infused and served” in the articles of April 22, 815 of the “Nihon Koki” in the early Heian Period, i.e., the first record of tea drinking in Japan.
In 1191, Zen master Yosai Myoan (1141-1215), the patriarch of the Rinzai school, returned from Song of China the second time and founded Kenninji Temple in Kyoto. It is a well-known story that when Yosai returned to Japan and brought back tea seeds, he had them cultivated in Mt. Sefuri in Kyushu and also gave them to the Priest Myoe Shonin at Kozan-ji Temple in Kyoto to cultivate tea. When Yosai returned, he wrote “Kissa-yojoki (Drink Tea and Prolong Life)” (1211) thoroughly describing the effectiveness of tea, tench by steaming method, etc., and presented it to Shogun Minamoto no Sanetomo in 1214. This book is famous as the first book about tea in Japan, and played an important role for subsequent dissemination of tea drinking.