All about April [April 2013]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

All about April [April 2013]

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

April. The time of year when the flowers begin to blossom is finally upon us.

Getting emotional when watching the cherry blossom blossom and fall to the ground may be a uniquely Japanese feature. This is likely because we associate kindergarten, university and company entrance ceremonies and so on with April.

Recently there seems to be a movement to moving the period of university entrance to September, which will mean April may begin to have a different atmosphere. While this may help to synchronize with other countries, I am very concerned with how Japan can change traditions, culture and national holidays in the name of efficiency.

As spring approaches so does hay fever. I have had symptoms for several years but this year they have been particularly bad. I also suffer from the symptoms during tea ceremony and catch myself sniffling in front of students. Even opening the window does not help with my itchy eyes. My symptoms may appear laughable to those who suffer from heavy symptoms but they are tiresome nonetheless.

In particular, I cannot be seen sniffling or being teary eyed when preparing tea in offering to the gods at shrines and temples and must therefore be extra careful.

Whenever I travel, I always wear a mask but often remove it when speaking to others as I feel it rude not to do so but always come to regret it afterwards as the symptoms appear. I am hoping the hay fever season passes as soon as possible.

March 24th marks the third year since my father's passing. While times seems to have just flown by, it has passed nonetheless. Unfortunately, our memory fades. So I decided a while ago to write a book to remind myself of the things my father taught me in the 55 years we spent together.

I have written a book titled 'My father's back - Kobori Soukei' and it is published by Kadogawa Magazines, released for sale on April 24th. I hope you all have a chance to read it.