Time[June 2016]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

Time[June 2016]

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

As you know, this year I celebrated my sixtieth birthday. I set myself the goal this year of approaching life differently but as I lived my life day by day, the first half of the year passed by in the blink of an eye. Everyone seems to sense the passing of time differently but in my case, time has passed very quickly. I could console myself in the thought that this time had been well spent and was rich in activities but I do regret a little when I consider what I could have done otherwise.

In modern day society speed is of the highest priority. In this internet society, we gather information more through mobile phones and tablets than we do through newspapers, books and television. Many people seem to take for granted what they see before them whereas in the past we took some time to consult a dictionary or to refer to the classics and so on.

Taking this time is actually quite important. As one spends time to conduct research, one can think more deeply, generate ideas, add originality and make discoveries. Whereas when we use the internet, we get information instantly and are left with no time to consider whether the information is accurate. This leads to adding flawed information and making assumptions based upon information that has not been sufficiently vetted.

I confess that I myself use this method from time to time. I am, however, convinced that the thickness of a book is linked to the depth of knowledge and the length of time spent on research is linked to the richness of the research. And so, faster, I believe, is not always better because an emphasis on speed can lead to shallowness in the research and thoughts. In the end, of course, this all depends on the person.

The last point I would like to make about time is that regardless of how busy I am, when I sit on a Tatami mattress to serve tea, I feel completely free from time. This is a wonderful characteristic of the art of tea. When I serve tea, I have no other desire than to hear the guest say that the tea served was delicious. If I focus on that, nothing distracts me. I am convinced that this is the appeal of tea ceremony and I will continue on this path.

I cannot end this article without sending my condolences to the victims of the earthquakes in the regions of Kumamoto and Oita.