The First Bowl-Vanities
Yukio the soldier. Akitsugu is born, the mother dies. Funeral for the mother, and shortly afterwards, a return to battle. Bleak and chaotic.
The Second Bowl-Multitudes
The wars continue in full force. Yukio manages to find time in between to do tea ceremonies for his fellow warriors and they approve of his talents. So many leaves to observe in fall/so much blood upon the battle field.
The Third Bowl-Complications
Yukio's father builds a tea house for spring. Though trying to be natural, it ends up being a show of arrogance and Yukio protests. Better to have not even known of wabi than...
The Fourth Bowl-Seperation
Yukio's father falls in the battles, and Yukio himself is gravely injured. he recovers, slowly, and given the title of family head.
The Fifth Bowl-Music
Still weakened from injury, Yukio watches the days fleeting on by. A guest musician comes to help pass the time, a sister of a comrade in arms. The sound revives his spirit and renews his drive for creativity.
The Sixth Bowl-Spirit
Yukio is again well enough to go about the daily routine. Though an administrator, he spends much of his time collecting pottery, writing calligraphy, and once again holding tea ceremonies. He is refreshed.
The Seventh Bowl-Picture
Tea ceremony is a kind of composition. It has it's own theme, colors, textures, moods, and messages. More than this, it is a living artwork. Yukio strives to find the soul of this art.
The Eighth Bowl-Creation
As Yukio continues his exploration of tea, he grows closer to Keiko and finally takes her as his wife. There are many things to learn/many beauties yet unappreciated.
The Ninth Bowl-Ideals
Yukio's life as a tea master is finally touching perfection. Nothing can stay constant, however.
The Tenth Bowl-Height
As Yukio finds the heart of tea, his family and soldiers wonder about his role as a leader. The water begins to boil...
The Eleventh Bowl-Core
Life continues on. The court, the tea, the seasons, the children. All passing.
The Twelfth Bowl-Carcoal
Complaints rise in number. Where there was joy, now is frusteration and stubborness. Flames turn the living tree to ash.
The Thirteenth Bowl-Purity
Yukio is overthrown and sent away into exile, blind. Though the world has turned about, the snow is still as cold as it was before; and as clean.
The Fourteenth Bowl-Bitter
How to turn despondancy into hope and contentedness again. To the other's amazement, it is found. Yukio takes up the bowl and the thankfulness of before to continue where he had been cut off.
The Fifteenth Bowl-Souls
Learning is a painful process. One must tear apart their ignorance, both accepting it as a part, and shedding it for the new. Yukio starts again.
The Sixteenth Bowl-Illusion
More than sight. Yukio continues to teach on the ways of tea and begins to gain a following.
The Seventeenth Bowl-Worth
Yukio finds happiness in the quiet, the peace, his family, his tea. In the beginning there was wealth, honor, duty, and vanity. In what does worth lie?
The Eigteenth Bowl-Sight
Though threatened, Yukio continues to teach on what he has learned. Stubborn to the end. Meditation and emptiness result in potent wisdom.
The Ninteenth Bowl-Death
The fall of the tearoom and Yukio passes away, asking only that his children seek what he did in a quiet manner.
The Twentieth Bowl-Flame
Akitsugu searches, while also offering.
The Twentifirst Bowl-Light
Masato works hard to establish a simple life, and wonders if this is better than what his father gave so much for.
The Twentisecond Bowl-Flower
Umeko finishes the tale.