Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

End of year greetings

KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )

The end of the year is finally upon us. In recent years Japan domestic and foreign affairs have been tumultuous. I believe that as we approach the end of the year, it has come time that all of us individually must seriously ask ourselves how as Japanese we should live and think and how Japan should position itself internationally.

Between October 2nd and 4th, our Aomori branch held a grand nationwide competition. It was a successful competition thanks to the combined efforts of the branch members. I am writing this entry in October and I have been very busy with travel and will record them below in chronological order:

10/1 Entered Kyoto the night before, attended in the morning the opening of the Ryukou stupa at Daitoku-ji. Attended a memorial service with Chief Abbot Takada Myouho and Buddhist priests. Returned to Tokyo and practiced at the head family house.

10/2 First day of the National Competition. Attended three meetings with the Board of Directors, Regional Directors and the National Association of Young Members.

10/3 After the Ceremony of Tea Offering to the Gods, Tea Festival

10/4 Sightseeing. After the Hakkoda Ropeway, visited the Jomon archaeological site ‘Sannai-Maruyama site’. Unfortunately it rained. Returned to Tokyo.

10/5 Direct Tea ceremony instruction

10/6 Direct Tea ceremony instruction. Attended a meeting related to Gakushuin in the afternoon and continued instruction.

10/7 Attended regular Rotary meeting. Direct Tea ceremony instruction.

10/8 Traveled to Kobe for instruction. Returned to Tokyo the next day. The bullet trains were crowded as the autumn tourism season had just begun. The manners of the passengers were worrisome.

10/10 Attended the regular monthly Tokyo Tea Ceremony Meeting

10/11 Kobori Enshu Appreciation Ceremony Autumn Lecture meeting. Listened with great interest to Akanuma Taka and his thoughts on Kourai Tea Bowls. After this, flew from Haneda airport to Fukuoka.

10/12 Attended Hasegawa Soyu’s 70th birthday celebration. Three way talk with Hasegawa Soyu and O Seonhwa. Enjoying Japanese Culture theory. Returned to Tokyo afterwards.

10/13 Took the bullet train to Nagoya to attend the Joan Tea ceremony meeting. Fell asleep on the train but was awoken by a passenger’s cell phone. It takes about one hour to get to Inuyama from Nagoya. The Taxi driver appears to be a rookie and takes the long way round. I tried to give him directions but he refused to turn away from the navigation system. After the Tea Ceremony, returned to Tokyo on the bullet train again.

10/14 Took the train to Nara. Practiced tea ceremony at Yakushi Temple. Dined with Aichi regional members in Nagoya.

10/15 Ceremony of Tea Offering to the Gods at Atsuta Shrine. Kaguraden, which underwent renovation last year, overflows with the smell of trees. In the middle of this, another cell phone goes off. Returned to Tokyo in the evening.

10/16 Went to Tottori to attend the collegium of Tottori regional members who will be responsible for the national competition next year. Collegium activities continue until the next day. Return to Tokyo in the evening.

10/18 Practice Tea ceremony flower. Seasonal flower Tea ceremony. Used 5 types of flowers that are wittling.

10/19 Practice Tea ceremony in Fukuoka. Returned to Tokyo the next day.

10/21 Direct Tea ceremony instruction. Traveled to Osaka in the evening.

10/22 Attended the Tea Ceremony celebrating the centennial of the establishing of the Osaka Bijutsu Club. The dark and weak tea were wonderful, but the exhibit of tools was the highlight of the visit.

10/23 Went to Hiroshima by bullet train from Osaka. It was the 55th anniversary of the establishing of the Kure division. After arrival, I attended the joint session of the national competition which will be hosted by three divisions in Hiroshima in four years time. After this, dined with regional members.

10/24 Attended the 55th anniversary Tea ceremony, held in the Irefuneyama Memorial Hall. There were many attendants from other schools. In the evening, invited guests to attend a celebratory dinner.

10/25 Left the hotel for Hiroshima airport at 6 in the morning. Arrived back in Tokyo in the morning and held a Tea ceremony from 1 in the afternoon. Held another Tea ceremony from 5:30 in the evening.

10/26 Saw Kabuki after a long time. Enjoyed the play “Renzishi” starring Bandou Mitsugorou. His son played a child lion. Watching a parent-child joint performance was special.

10/27 Went to Nagoya for Tea ceremony. As the Conference of the Parties held in the same city, the hotel where I was staying had imposing security. There was too much security considering we were all mostly regular guests. It was uncomfortable. Returned to Tokyo the next morning.

10/29 Attended a meeting to discuss a new book I am planning on getting published next year.

10/30 – 31 Practiced Daisu Tea Ceremony.