May 13, 2023

On Saturday, May 13 2023, a tea ceremony demonstration was held at a Japanese language school, Polaris Gakuin in Sawtelle. This demonstration was held for students from the fourth grade to high school and thirty four participated in the two-part demonstration.

After a brief introduction by Tomoko Ishibashi (Ishizuka Shachu), Soei Masciandaro, the teishu, began the tea ceremony using a custom walnut table top created by her husband. Lu Lou (Ishizuka Shachu) served as the Hanto, and Olga Verkhoglyadova (Masciandaro Shachu) served as the Shokyaku. The theme of the tea ceremony was seasonal and centered on Boy’s Day (Tango no Sekku). A shikishi of Jyaki Isso (Banish Evil Spirits) was provided by the school calligraphy teacher, seasonal flowers, a bowl with a kabuto (helmet), a carp motif on the futaoki were carefully selected. The theme continued with the natsume of a children’s top (koma) design and the chashaku gomei of fuki nagashi (the colored streamers blowing in the wind). The students were intently watching the tea ceremony. One high school student commented that he felt “purified” by the demonstration.

After that, the students participated in a tea ceremony workshop. They ate individually wrapped sweets from Japan, then learned how to whisk tea. They enjoyed drinking the tea they had made.

Soshu Ishizuka, Soshin Abe, Chief of Administration, and Sochi Ohshima, Supervisor, were happy to support and help out at the demonstration. It is hoped that our Tanokoai can continue to promote Chado to the younger generation. The administration at the school asked if we could participate again in teaching the students the Way of Tea.

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