In the Edo period, during which the Tokugawa shogunate maintained a centralized administration, and especially in the 17th century, chanoyu entered a time of changing styles. In the Sen family, three family branches were established through the three sons of Rikyu's grandson, Genpaku Sotan (1578-1658). The third son, Koshin Sosa (1613-72), started Omotesenke, the fourth son, Senso Soshitsu (1622-97) started Urasenke and the second son Ichio Soshu (1605-76) started Mushanokojisenke. Among them Koshin Sosa left many records of what he heard about Rikyu and the traditions he left to the Sen family from his father Sotan. He did this so that the gradually receding image of the founder of their way of tea would be preserved as clearly as possible for the Sen family. In this way, the way of tea and the tradition that had been passed down in the Sen family could be confirmed and the independence of their way of tea could be realized.
Sotan's three sons were employed by daimyos as tea masters. Koshin Sosa was in the service of the Tokugawa family of Kii Province, Senso Soshitsu was in the service of the Maeda family of Kaga Province and Ichio Soshu was in that of the Matsudaira family of Takamatsu Province. The families thus became professional tea masters . Holding these positions gave them stability and was the foundation of their establishment as tea families. Also different styles of tea were established in the samurai families, Sansai style (Hosokawa Sansai), Uraku style (Oda Uraku), Enshu style (Kobori Enshu), Sowa style (Kanamori Sowa), Sekishu style (Katagiri Sekishu) and so on, so that by the second half of the 17th century the foundations of the Iemoto system had been laid.