May 17, 2008

Inspiration from the Grand Tea Master’s visit

I just returned from Seattle where Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the retired Grand Tea Master of Urasenke School of tea visited last week. During the thee day visit, there were many chakai (tea gatherings), lectures, and receptions and meals shared with this remarkable man. He has made it his vision and life mission to spread peace through a bowl of tea.

Though many people have not heard of him, Dr. Sen has traveled the world and hosted many of the world leaders to tea. He is charismatic and inspirational. Just being part of the events in Seattle have instilled a new fire within me to be a better chajin and share the way of tea with people.

Even though I was dressed for 3 days in my very best formal kimono, I was part of the work crew behind the scenes to make it all run smoothly. We served more than 300 bowls of tea each day. From setting up equipment in the morning, to whisking tea, to washing tea bowls and cleaning up in the evening only to begin again the next morning, I felt part of something much larger. And I learned so much about how to work a large event such as this.

I was also able to assist with teaching a session of the University of Washington chado class with Tim Olsen sensei and Genko san. They have moved all classes to Shoseian, the tea house in the Japanese Garden. How lucky they are to study in a real tea house surrounded by a beautiful Japanese garden.

And Monday we begin our new introduction to Japanese Tea Ceremony class at Issoan.

Aren’t we the lucky ones, whose hearts were stolen away by tea?


  1. Welcome back. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'm so pleased the event was successful.

  2. Thank you Jane. The event was a success and I worked hard and learned so much. More posts as I get my head together about the whole thing.


  3. Thank you so much for the account of Daisosho's visit! Unfortunately I was not able to attend. It is kind of you to share your impressions with us.

    I am very keen to read your upcoming posts with more details of the event - especially (I'm hoping!) some of the content of his talks, paraphrased or otherwise. (Do you know whether any of it was recorded?)

  4. chaekke,
    I didn't get to hear all of Daisosho's talks as I was working, but I will try to paraphrase what I remember. Several people took notes, which I am hoping to get copies.