Among the disciples of Rikyu in chanoyu the best known are the 'Rikyu shichitetsu' ('seven sages'). There are various opinions about who were the members of this group, but Hosokawa Tadaoki (Sansai), Furuta Oribe, Takayama Nanbo, Oda Uraku and Gamo Ujisato were warrior generals who had a great influence on the samurai chanoyu which began to flourish at the beginning of the Edo period. Rikyu's chanoyu, however, was transmitted by his descendants, creating the foundations of modern chanoyu. Rikyu had two sons, Min'o Doan and Shoan Sojun (1546-1614). Mino Doan was the son of Rikyu's first wife. It is said that as a tea practitioner his knowledge of chanoyu etiquette and method were such as to impress even Rikyu. He was also employed as a tea master by Hideyoshi and spread the Senke style of chanoyu in Sakai, but after the death of Rikyu we know little about the later years of Doan, and with his death his family lineage came to an end. Shoan was the son of Rikyu's second wife Soon. It is said that his father was a tsuzumi taiko drummer called Miyao Saburo Sannyu, but there is no reliable record of this. His mother Soon was Rikyu's second wife and so he entered the Sen family as Rikyu's adopted child and learned chanoyu from Rikyu. Finally he helped Rikyu to popularize chanoyu in Kyoto while he continued to practise.
After the death of Rikyu, Shoan went to live with one of Rikyu's leading disciples, Gamo Ujisato of Aizu Wakamatsu. His son Genpaku Sotan (1578-1658) received religious training at Daitoku-ji and at this time the family became scattered. But 3 years after Rikyu's enforced suicide in Bunroku 3 (1594), Hideyoshi's displeasure subsided and he allowed Shoan to return to Kyoto. The 'Shoan meshidashijo' (Letter of summons to Shoan) is a symbol of the revival of the Sen family which is still at the Iemoto. It has the joint signature of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Gamo Ujisato that conveyed Hideyoshi's pardon of Shoan. Shoan returned to Kyoto and accomplished the restoration of the Sen family along with Genpaku Sotan who had finished his religious training at Daitoku-ji.