March 26, 2023 Rikyuki

Nichiren Shu Beikoku Betsuin
March 26, 2023

The Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles Association (UTLAA) held Rikyuki on March 26 at Nichiren Shu Beikoku Betsuin in Los Angeles. Rikyuki is the annual memorial tea ceremony to commemorate the life of Sen no Rikyu, one of the most influential and innovative tea masters in the history of Chado. About 80 people attended the ceremony to pay respect for the great tea master.

Hanayose, the flower tribute to Rikyu began in the afternoon. Numerous hanaire were placed on the tokonoma where a scroll portrait of Rikyu was situated. Beautiful blooming flowers were offered by instructors.

Kucha, the tea offering to Rikyu was made by members of the Sokei Nakada Shachu, Somi Carriger as teishu and Damian Ptlyk as hanto. The okashi, hanaikada was specially made for the event by volunteers from the association. Hanaikada means flower raft. Legend has it that an urn tied by a cord on the raft, untied and the urn was found floating in the river meaning it would go straight to paradise. This is usually served by Urasenke on the anniversary of Rikyu’s death. A bowl of tea was offered to the alcove in memory of Rikyu and all the guests bowed in his honor.

After attendees enjoyed the sweets and tea, Dr. Duncan Ryuken Williams lectured “Just Being: A Zen Buddhist Approaching to Simplicity”. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn the true meaning of Rikyu’s Wabi-cha.

Chief of Administration of UTLAA, Ann Soshin Abe concluded by thanking everyone for coming. All guests and members enjoyed sweets and a bowl of tea in the warm spring fragrance.

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