January 16, 2022 General Meeting and Hatsudate Ceremony

General Meeting and Hatsudate Ceremony
Sunday, January 16, 2022

On Sunday, January 16, 2022, the general meeting and Hatsudate ceremony were held in hybrid in Shoseian in Glendale and over Zoom by Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles Association. The in-person meetings followed the state regulations regarding the rapid surge of Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. About ten UTLAA members gathered at the Shoseian and about 50 participated online. The Shoseian was renovated three years ago, and at that time, members of Urasenke from Glendale’s sister city Higashi-Osaka came to the U.S. to celebrate. Many events have been held in the beautiful teahouse to introduce Japanese culture.
 Following the general meeting of only the members, the Hatsudateshiki was held with the following guests: Mme. Shoko Kida, Consul of Japan in Los Angeles; Mme. Paula Devine, Mayor of Glendale; members from the Urasenke Tankokai Orange County Association including Mme. Soyu Koizumi, Honorary Advisor, and Mme. Sonan Watanabe, Chief of Administration.
 Mme. Soshin Robinson, Chief of Administration (CoA) of the UTLAA, gave the opening remarks, expressing her wish to be strong like the tiger which is this year’s zodiac sign, and her gratitude to the officers, instructors, managers, and members of the Association for making several events possible at the covid pandemic.
 Next, Mr. Sohaku Hori (President of the Association) gave a speech. He focused on the positive aspects of the pandemic and expressed his happiness that the association is growing through activities that can only be done online. He wished for the holding of a tea gathering this year where everyone can get together.
 Hon. Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, gave a congratulatory video message. He expressed his wish to continue to support the activities of the Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles Association in building bridges between Japan and the United States.
The ceremony was followed by a tatezome by Abe Shachu. The host,Mme. Soshin Abe, Vice CoA, made bowls of tea at nagaita sokazari for Mme. Soyu Uesugi, Consultant, and Mr. Paul Abe, Vice President of the Association. Ms. Soei Hamai served as Hanto. The narrator was Mme. Soko Osumi, Chief of Instructors group. Afterwards, a friendly fukubiki (raffle) was held with prizes for all participants.
The ceremony ended with closing remarks by CoA Robinson. During the ceremony, there were some hiccups such as poor internet connection and video and audio issues, but we are grateful that we were able to hold the first event of the year.

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