Spring into SummerShoseian Sunday, May, 21
“Spring into Summer” ESS tea demonstration and fundraising
On Sunday, May 21, 2023, the Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles Association’s first fundraising of the year was held at the Brand Library’s tea house Shoseian in Glendale. It was a demonstration that was tailored for anyone beginning, new or curious about the tea ceremony and to promote Japanese culture to an English speaking audience.
Eighty-three participants were divided into four seatings starting at 10 a.m. and continued into early afternoon. Before each seating, tea practitioner/docents explained the Urasenke tradition with informative posters and text. During the tea event, a narrator explained the myriad details, nuances, context and history of what was actually happening in the otherwise relaxed atmosphere in the tea room.
This event was headed by the English Speaking Society (ESS) lead by Jennifer Kung, Chief of Administration Ann Abe and Vice Chiefs of Administration, Miki Gill and Risa Ueda. All English speaking committee members came from different shachu all over Los Angeles County. Each were assigned roles such as the host, teishu, and host assistant or hanto. Numerous volunteers also helped to serve tea and sweets to everyone invited. Distinguished guests from the community were invited. They included the Deputy Counsel General of Japan, Mr. Naoshige Aoshima with his wife and son, Ms. Yuko Kaifu, President of Japan House, and Mr. Mike Belzer, President of Shoseian.
In the spirit of friendship and wa kei sei jaku, artworks, ceramics and tea utensils were carefully chosen by the committee to reflect the changing season as in the theme of the event, “Spring into Summer”. The kakejiku was Blue Mountain Green River, Seizan Ryokusui, by Hōrinji Jūshoku Kancho, Fukumoto Sekiou Roshi. The main tea bowl was from Finland, and other tea bowls used were from the U.S. as well as historical kilns from Japan such as Kyo-yaki, Karatsu-yaki and Hagi-yaki. Mebae, sprout, was the poetic name of a tea scoop to reflect the growing season. A tea scoop, aptly named Shiki no tomo, friend of the four seasons, by Urasenke’s 14th generation, Former Grand Teamaster, Tantansai, was a fitting addition to the utensils used. This was a wonderful opportunity for the English speaking members to meet, plan and promote the spirit of Chado to a wide audience.