Annual Hatsudate ShikiDoubleTree Hilton HotelSunday, January 14, 2024
On a crisp, clear day on January 14, the annual Hastudate Shiki for the Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles Association (UTLAA) was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Little Tokyo. 116 people of tea practitioners, students, members, friends and guests from all over Southern California attended. One of the distinguished guests was the Consul General of Japan, Honorable Kenko Sone.
The main stage was decorated with celebratory gold screens displaying a copy of a scroll by Sotan depicting a”Roji no e”. Next to it was a long, bamboo, flower container harvested from the Huntington Botanical Garden. It was overflowing with long branches of willow, a symbol of longevity, prosperity, meeting again and safe journey. Included were seasonal, white and red camellias.
Before the opening, all guests were served usucha and homemade sweets named “Nagomi” which was specially made by members of the Tankokai.
Chief of Administration of UTLAA, Soshin (Ann) Abe gave an opening speech and a moment of silence honored the memory of Honorary President of UTLAA Dr. Glenn Webb who died on January 6. She thanked members and friends who contributed time and resources while nurturing younger members and training new managers while encouraging new instructors in planning new events.
President of UTLAA, Sohaku (Robert) Hori then gave a New Year greeting. He said in the past few years the tea population has decreased and many teachers have retired. But in Los Angeles, there is growth with non-Japanese showing interest in Chado.