From the latter half of the 19th century, with the Meiji Restoration of 1868 as a turning point, chanoyu entered a period of decline. The Meiji Restoration and the age of enlightenment that followed, dealt a great blow to chanoyu. One of the reasons for this was that the classes of people who had supported chanoyu, the daimyo (feudal lords) and the upper class samurai, no longer existed. Especially for the Iemoto, the daimyo and the samurai had played a large part in supporting them.
Another reason was that as part of the enlightment, a wave of westernization washed over the country and Japan's cultural tradition was neglected.
In the midst of this decline, tea families were dealt a great blow, but with the Iemoto at the centre, they made strenuous efforts to keep the tradition alive. Freeing itself from its previous status as a diversion, attempts were made to transform chanoyu into a suitable form of education for the people, and with the introduction of such things as chanoyu using tables and stools (ryurei), which suited westernized lifestyles, a chanoyu suited to the new age was created. Soon, with chanoyu being made a part of women's education and so on, a revival was started.