The period from the latter half of the 17th century until the 18th century could be called chanoyu's period of transformation into 'yugei' (light accomplishment). Especially in the Genroku period, urban culture flourished and there was an increase in the number of people who became lovers of various arts which they practiced as diversions. In the literary works of Ihara Saikaku (1642-93) one often comes across stories of townspeople becoming familiar with such arts, and there are also many stories of people ruining themselves through overindulgence in them. The word yugei means an art which is practiced for amusement, but it was not only the samurai and merchants who practiced them. In the Edo period it was a refinement which was also necessary for those in the upper classes in their social interactions.
Chanoyu came to be enjoyed as one of these light accomplishments. As the population of tea practitioners increased, professionals who gave chanoyu lessons and amateurs who were their disciples appeared, so that the Iemoto system was established.
In the mid-eighteenth century the shichijishiki (seven training exercises) appeared. This was a new way of practicing in groups and was devised mainly by the 7th Iemoto of Omotesenke, Joshinsai Sosa. Chanoyu became even more popular. Then in the 19th century it was not just practiced in cities, but spread out into agricultural areas too.