From the latter half of the 15th century to the latter half of the 16th century, there was a revolutionary development in the culture of tea drinking . As opposed to the enjoyment of tea at a lively banquet with gorgeous karamono Chinese utensils displayed, a kind of chanoyu apeared in which a muted beauty was sought, such as that shown in renga (linked poems), using unsophisticated domestically produced ceramics. This was 'wabi-cha' or 'sado'.
The people who contributed most towards the formation of chanoyu were Murata Shuko (1423-1502), Takeno Joo (1502-55) and Sen no Rikyu (1522-91). Shuko's 'Kokoro no fumi' (Letter on mastery of the mind), which touched on the problem of the mind in chanoyu for the first time, could be called the beginning of wabi-cha.
Shuko's tea was further deepened by Joo. Joo was at the time an influential citizen of the extremely prosperous international mercantile city of Sakai. When he was young he intended to become a master of renga poetry and studied under Sanjonishi Sanetaka (1455-1537). He brought renga's aesthetic concepts of hie (chill) and kareru (withered) into chanoyu. Rikyu was also a citizen of Sakai and learned chanoyu from Joo. Rikyu's aim was to remove as far as possible the element of play and to achieve a chanoyu that was centred on spiritual exchange between people and had a corresponding intensity. He used his eye for beauty to create many utensils, beginning with Chojiro's teabowls, which had a wabi (quiet simplicity) aesthetic and, displaying an originality until then not seen in chanoyu, accomplished the establishment of wabi-cha. Rikyu's chanoyu has continued to this day, passed down through the 'Sansenke' (three Sen family branches), Omotesenke, Urasenke and Mushakoujisenke.The founder of the Yabunouchi school of tea, Kenchu Jochi was also a disciple of Joo.