SotankiNichiren Shu Beikoku Betsuin November 19, 2023
On a beautiful, clear Autumn day with light winds, the Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles Association hosted the annual Sotanki memorial at the Nichiren Beikoku Betsuin. The event commemorates the life of Genpaku Sotan Koji(1578-1658), 3rd Generation Grand Tea Master of Sen family and his pivotal contributions to Urasenke chado. At Urasenke in Japan, the annual memorial was held on the same day of November 19th. 47 guests and participants joined in this event.
First, a hanayose (flower arrangement) ceremony was conducted by the managers. One by one, they carefully arranged beautiful, seasonal flowers from a variety of vases. The kucha ceremonial offering to Sotan Koji was hosted by Nogaki shachu. Teishu was Ms. Soshin Nozaki and hanto was Ms. Sowa Miyake. Mme. Soko Osumi gave an insightful narration on the life of Sotan Koji. Hanging in the tokonoma was a scroll written by Fukumoto, Sekiou, “Kanzashite shofu wo kiku” and translates into “Sit still listening to the sound of the pine through the wind”. A bowl was offered, and all the participants silently put their hands together to Sotan Koji.
After that, tea was served to the guests, Mme. Soetsu Ota, Mme. Sokou Jones and Mrs. Soshin Kodama. Sweets were specially made by Mrs. Kodama. It was shaped like an ekubo (dimple) and filled with seasonal chestnuts.
After serving tea, shichigishiki was organized and narrated by Mme. Soshin Robinson and her shachu. This year they chose Chabako Tsuki Kagetsu. This complex tea exercise challenges the mind with unpredictable outcomes in which one must learn to adapt quickly.
The memorial ended with a sense of calmness and respect for one another.