Sen no Rikyū (千利休, Sen no Rikyū? 1522 - April 21, 1591, also known as Sen Rikyū) is considered the historical figure with the most profound influence on the Japanese tea ceremony, particularly the tradition of wabi-cha. Rikyū is known by many names; for convenience this article will refer to him as Rikyū throughout.
According to Okakura Kakuzo in The Book of Tea, his last act was to hold an exquisite tea ceremony. After serving all his guests, he presented each piece of the tea-equipage for their inspection, along with an exquisite kakemono, which Okakura described as "a wonderful writing by an ancient monk dealing with the evanescence of all things." Rikyū presented each of his guests with a piece of the equipment as a souvenir, with the exception of the bowl, which he shattered, uttering "Never again shall this cup, polluted by the lips of misfortune, be used by man." As the guests departed, one remained to serve as witness to Rikyū's death. Rikyū's last words, which he wrote down as a death poem, were in verse, addressed to the dagger with which he took his own life:
- Welcome to thee,
- O sword of eternity!
- Through Buddha
- And through Daruma alike
- Thou hast cleft thy way. 
人生七十 力囲希咄 吾這寶剣 祖佛共殺 堤る我得具足の一太刀 今此時ぞ天に抛