Jan 24, 2012

Intensive Japanese Garden Study in Japan

The Research Center for Japanese Garden Art and Historical Heritage is pleased to announce the 15th annual English language intensive course in the history, design theory, landscape ecology, and practice of the Japanese Garden.
The two-week program (July 30 -August 10, 2012) offers serious students from abroad a number of unique opportunities to study the Japanese garden. Some days will be divided between site visits and lectures on campus, but there will be several all-day excursions as well. On-site lectures will be given in some gardens that are usually not open to the public. The 15th seminar is now in the process of accepting applications for review and selection. In order to provide maximum personal attention, we strive for a group limited to not more than 25 students. However, if there are not enough applications, and the resulting number of selected participants is less than 20, the seminar may be canceled.

Anyone with a serious interest in Japanese gardens can join the two-week Intensive Seminar Plus at a cost of 420,000 Japanese yen (about $5,380 USD at ¥78/$1). Students under the age of 35 who are enrolled full time in a school or university can participate at a reduced fee of 350,000 Japanese yen, but have to submit proof of their age and full-time enrollment. This seminar fee covers: all lectures, entrance fees and transportations to site visits, excursions, course materials exclusive for participants, and rooms with breakfast in a comfortable inn (13 nights at shared rooms) for the duration of the course.
 Download the 2012 Japanese Garden Intensive Seminar pdf pamphlet. pdf icon

Jan 21, 2012

Yukima no kusa

I have had a few requests to see what the sweets were like for Hatsugama.  I neglected to take photos of the sweets last week, but this week I re-created them for the introduction class that started today. 

Yukima no kusa is the poetic name, it means the sprouts under the snow.

Jan 20, 2012


Upcoming Events for Issoan Tea School

Januray 21, Introduction to Chado 10 week class begins, 1:30 -3:00
January 29, Kagetsu at Meiko'sensei's house 1:30- 4:00 pm
Feb. 3rd  International School of Beaverton demo 5-8 pm
Feb. 15, Beginning chanoyu - tray style 10 week class begins 7:00-8:30
Feb. 16, 17 18, 19  Portland Garden show  demos.  Thursday afternoon through Sunday
Feb. 26 Kagetsu class at Mieko sensei's 1:30 -4:00

Jan 18, 2012

Win a Trip to Japan!

Japan National Tourism Organization is giving away free trips to Japan - open to the US only.
Spring 2012 will be a special season as it marks the centennial anniversary of Japan's Gift of Trees to the U.S. To celebrate this anniversary, we're giving you and a guest the chance to explore Japan inside and out. Read through all 6 itineraries, pick your favorite, and enter for your chance to win your dream vacation!

Modern Art
Pop Culture

Go here to enter and for more details.

Jan 15, 2012

The Artist's Touch, The Craftsman's Hand

Today I went to the Portland Art Museum's Exhibition of Woodblock Prints from their collection, The Artist's Touch, The Craftsman's Hand.   It was a spectacular review of the history of woodblocks from the late seventeenth century to the present day.  The museum owns more than 2,500 works and is showcasing a selection of some 250 of the most historically important and visually compelling Japanese prints in the collection. I must say it is a fabulous exhibition, but hurry in to see it as it only lasts until January 22.

Before or after your visit, I recommend my friend Tomoe's, Behind the Museum Cafe, on Southwest 10th.  I had the matcha set which includes a Japanese Tea sweet and bowl of matcha, whisked by Tomoe.  She also serves sandwiches, onigiri (Japanese rice ball), pastries, and other types of Japanese green tea and, if you must, coffee. There you can also see ceramic artist Motoko Hori's works and antiques from Ryokusuido Antique shop.

What a wonder way to relax after the intensity of Hatsugama.

Jan 14, 2012

Hatsugama - The Year of the Dragon

We just concluded Hatsugama for 2012.   These events take considerable planning, but it does make it one of the most spectacular tea events of the year.  Everyone dressed in their finest kimono and brought their most harmonious attitude.  Here are a few photos from the event:

Just unpacking and washing the utensils needed for the event seemed like a lot of work.  Plus cleaning and sweeping, cooking and cleaning, arranging and cleaning and finally cleaning and once final cleaning.  

In the display area

The knotted willow and scroll that reads "Yume" or dream

Tea room before guests arrive

Kama by the famous Keitan Takahashi

Temaeza with Yamazato dana, Oimatsu natsume, and mizusashi by Rob Fornell
Here is the Kaiki (tea record for Hatsugama)
Machiai – Seasonal New Year Display
Ko: Kyo no ume, plum of Kyoto
Kogo: Celedon Plumeria by John Nakai
Kamakamishiki: White Hoshogami
Scroll:  Yume “Dream” by  Tajima Soko Daisojo of Koyasan Temple, Japan
Traditional knotted willow

Seasonal New Years food
Fuchidaka: Black kakiawase
Sweet: White kinton with gold flakes "Yukima no kusa" (spouts under the snow)
Tana: Yamazato dana: Mountain Village stand
Mizusashi:  Rob Fornell, Seattle Potter
Kama: Kashiwa (oak leaf) ubaguchi (hag’s mouth) by Keitan Takahashi
Okiro: Mulberry wood
Kensui: Bronze efugo style
Futaoki: Kakehashi – four bridges, four directions, four decades by Richard Milgrim
Koicha: Ha muro no mukashi by Yamamasa Koyamaen
Chaire: Daikai from Seto
Shifuku: Rikyubai shoha donsu
Chashaku: “Michi” gift from Minako Sensei
Chawan: Red Raku with silver lining from Shimadai set by Waraku

Natsume:  Oimatsu with hinged lid. Lacquer by Soetsu
Omojawan: “Aibukai,” the caressing shore by Tacy Apostolik
Higashi: Oike senbei and yuzu peel
Higashi bon:  Orange lacquer from Urasenke made by Zohiko
Mizutsugi: Blue and White Sometsuke
Usucha:  Kirisame by Aoi tea company

Jan 11, 2012

Happy New Year

To my readers, I apologize for not posting more often.
This weekend we will be holding Hatsugama, the first tea gathering of the year.   It will take place in the new Issoan Tea Room and I'll be posting photos from the event.

Also for those of you who have been visiting iwww.issonatea.com, it is undergoing a re-design.  It was originally built by me in Frontpage.  Alas, Microsoft no longer supports it and I have lost my key to the software, so I cannot update it.  A new look will be coming soon with new content.

New classes are forming for the new year.

Introduction to Japanese Culture through the Tea Ceremony
Harmony, purity, respect and tranquility.  These are the four principles of tea ceremony distilled from Japanese culture.  In this ten week class, students will be introduced to Chado, the way of tea. The arts of Japan will be examined through the ritual preparation and drinking of matcha, Japanese ceremonial tea.  Students will participate in at least six tea ceremonies, an incense ceremony, and kimono dressing.  Japanese architecture, gardening, flower arranging and calligraphy will also be covered. Classes will take place in a Japanese tea room located 4 blocks south of PCC Rock Creek campus:  17761 NW Marylhurst Ct., Portland, OR 97229

Fee: $250, materials will be available for purchase at class.
Meets Saturdays for 10 weeks, starting January 21st, 1:30-3:00 pm at Issoan Tea Room.

Beginning Chanoyu
Learn the procedures for Ryakubon, tray style, the most simple of Japanese Tea Ceremonies.  This procedure can be done almost anywhere with a minimum of utensils. Learn the correct handling of utensils and further your knowledge of Japanese culture.  Learn how to make different kinds of tea sweets, proper etiquette for both host and guests at a tea ceremony.   Introduction to Japanese Culture through the Tea Ceremony recommended but not required.  Classes will take place at Ryokusuido Japanese Antiques Shop: 3826 NE Glisan St., Portland, OR 97232

Fee: $250, materials available for purchase at class
Meets Wednesdays for 10 weeks, starting February 15th, 7:00-8:30

Call Margie Yap, 503.645.7058 to register.  Limited availability