hi, this post is for kaiseki beginners like myself:)
to begin with...i found some posts about kaiseki and became interested in it because they told wonderful things about experiencing kaiseki. but then i came to think about the tradition in japan. japan is known for its simplicity and elegance. so what the person described was different from the idea of traditional japanese. so it lead me to read a book about original form of kaiseki. (actually i read only one book and did not even read a whole thing because it was too long. so it might be a bit inaccurate.)
kaiseki was originally named cha kaiseki. if i remember correctly, it was introduced as a kind of snack after the tea ceremony. and it was very frugal. there were six or seven courses but i believe it was often only three courses that were served. i forgot what they were but maybe miso soup, rice and something else. the reason cha kaiseki was introduced is that the ceremony lasted very long and they simply got hungry. (it is just my guess.) you know tea ceremony started because there were so many wars and a person thought we have to make a place where people can talk to each other without hatred feeling. so basically it is a get to know each other with respect place. so people talked for a long time and got hungry.
so in short, modern kaiseki is different form the original. i do not know why they changed. maybe because of money and change of life style.
btw, have you ever heard the sadou was created based on the life of christ?
the entrance of the chashitsu was very small because the christ said something like you have to be humble in order to get into heaven. also once you got into the chashitsu, there is no hierarchy. everyone is equal. the ash at the hibachi represents the christ ash. even though he was not cremated. and there were many tea cups that had christian symbols on them but i have never seen one.
well, chow blog lead me to learn about japanese food and culture. it is so informative.