Peacefulness[Jan 2014]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

Peacefulness[Jan 2014]

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

Happy New Year!
I wish all of you happiness and good health this year.

Welcoming the 26 year of the Heisei era, 2014, the year of the Horse, I only hope this year to be will turn out to be a good one. A new year to me starts from a big event, the year’s first tea ceremony, in the new year in Tokyo and Fukuoka and finishing it in peace is important as it decides direction for the rest of the year.

This new year is special as a documentary movie “My Father the Grand Tea Master” will be released.
There are many feature-length documentaries which take one year to shoot. However, this movie took three years to complete and I wish many of you decide to watch this.

My family is the house of tea ceremony. It is nothing special but it is mine, I have a family and there are the occasional episodes. However, others often wonder what my day-to-day life is like or they are interested in the preparations which go into tea ceremonies behind the scenes. This is why this movie was made.

As mentioned earlier, the new year tea ceremony is an excellent subject for the movie to be centered around. However, just after the shooting started, there was the Great East Japan earthquake and my father passed away so I conducted the new year tea ceremony in 2012 differently from the average year to wish for restoration and that the souls of those who had passed would rest in peace. Therefore, we decided to wait for the new year tea ceremony in 2013 to shoot it in its original lively nature and the shooting ended up taking three years.

Thankfully, the movie covers a lot. In addition, my children, especially my son, evolve as the movie goes on. I hope that as you watch this movie you get a feeling for the day-to-day ways in which we interact with the seasons in a typical Japanese household, how a father and his children interact and so on, things which are not to do specifically with our house of tea ceremony.

The theme of this year's Utakai Hajime (the Imperial poet-reading party in the New Year) is “peacefulness”. Last year’s theme was ‘standing’ which implies the wish for the restoration of Fukushima. I think this year’s “peacefulness” is appropriate to calm those who are in anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 and the effects of Abenomics. There are few things more symbolic of 'peacefulness' than Tea ceremony.

In tea ceremony, one's body moves all the time while one serves tea. Yet the movement is not intense. It is a really peaceful movement. This is not simply because it is slow. It is thanks to the settled state of mind and calmness under one’s true feelings that the movement is peaceful. As such, I want you to practice tea ceremony and enrich your daily life this year.