Thank you for a perfect day! [November 2016]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

Thank you for a perfect day! [November 2016]

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

While we feel that autumn is coming, the calendar shows us that it is already the beginning of winter. For some time now, I have been talking about the climatic anomaly, which results, for example, in the formation of very violent typhoons, or which last longer than those of the past.

However, nature certainly shows us the changes of season. Japanese people should react with respect to these seasonal changes which are sometimes violent and only sometimes pleasant.

On September 17, my disciples were kind enough to organize a large tea ceremony at the Gokoku-ji Temple to celebrate my sixtieth birthday. These disciples belong to the federations of Tokyo, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka and Kanazawa. Each held a tea session with innovative concepts that created a celebratory atmosphere.

Among the guests there were many practitioners from other tea schools. They were kind enough to tell me that they had greatly appreciated the combination of utensils chosen by my disciples. They commented that their unique ceremonies using those rare utensils were unparalleled by any other tea ceremonies. I was very proud to hear that.

I think that the Enshû school is appreciated for its aesthetic sensibility which gives its ceremonies an incomparable elegance and harmony. And each tea session showed diversity in personality. I can say that it was one of the most representative tea ceremonies of the Heisei era.

In the evening, I was invited to a reception hosted by the Tokyo federation at the Palace Hotel. There were about six hundred participants. So including another four hundred guests of the day, a thousand people came to celebrate my birthday. I was very honored. At the reception, I was moved by so many unexpected kind words.

As for the hospitality during a tea ceremony, I often make two remarks. The first is that conventional gestures should be made in front of the guests to reassure them. The second is that in addition to those usual gestures, it would be good to keep some surprises that allow them to have a new sensation, a new discovery. There, this balance is very important. Depending on the theme of the ceremony, the ratio may be half and half, six to four, or eight to two. It is up to the host to decide.
In this respect, the reception that night was full of surprises by which I felt touched. I take this opportunity to thank all those who organized this extraordinary day. On leaving the reception, on seeing the harvest moon shining in the starry sky, I once again enjoyed the gladness that this day has given me.