From the second half of the 16th century to the first half of the 17th century, chanoyu entered a really showy period. The first half of this period was the time when wabi-cha (tea of quiet taste) was made popular by Sen no Rikyu, but chanoyu's rise to prosperity with the appearance of Oda Nobunaga (1534-82) who took control of the whole country, showed that its time had come.
Nobunaga, who entered Kyoto in Eiroku 11 (1568) began meibutsu hunting(compulsory collection of meibutsu. Meibutsu had become a symbol of a rular's authority and wealth) and while collecting these utensils he chose tea masters of Sakai to work for him. Also through what was known as the 'Ochanoyu Goseido' he gave licenses to specified retainers to practice chanoyu. Under Nobunaga chanoyu was made a qualification for the formal ceremony of samurai houses and so was given political power.
The politicization of chanoyu reached its peak under Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-98). The Kin'ri Tea Gathering in Tensho 13 (1585) and the Great Kitano Tea Gathering in Tensho 15 were events symbolizing chanoyu's splendid ornamentation of Hideyoshi's political sphere. It was Rikyu, Hideyoshi's tea master who produced these great tea gatherings.
In the time of the Tokugawa Shogunate the political nature of chanoyu became progressively diluted. After the death of Rikyu, Furuta Oribe (1543-1615), Kobori Enshu (1579-1647) and Katagiri Sekishu (1605-73) were tea masters for the Tokugawa shoguns, but with the death of Kobori Enshu the age of chanoyu under the shoguns could be said to have come to an end.