Apr 11, 2009

Chabako and flower viewing

The students are currently studying chabako (traveling tea box) in preparation for Hanami,or flower viewing. This month the Sakura or cherry blossoms will be blooming and for the Japanese people, this is one of the events of the year. We will take our chabako and thermos and venture outside to prepare tea under the cherry blossoms. Portland has a fine waterfront park dedicated to the Japanese interment and it is lined with Sakura that are just in bloom now. We can do it at the peak, or we can do it when the petals start coming down like pink snow all around us.

I remember the first week I was in Kyoto my sempai invited us new students to a chakai at the Kyoto botanical gardens. They packed up the chabako, thermos and bento and we walked from our dormitory to the gardens. It was a beautiful sunny spring day. Under the cherry blossoms, they prepared tea for us and told us how it was to be students and the headquarters under the grand tea master. They were so helpful and took great care of us those first six months when everything was brand new. Thank you, Herman, Kirsten, Scott, Maya, Jani, Robert, and Nastya. It was a wonderful year thanks to you.

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