The first tea ceremonies for the New Year[March 2017]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

The first tea ceremonies for the New Year[March 2017]

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

Kobori Sojitsu PictureThe first tea ceremonies of the new year, which took place over six days in the training center of our school, were blessed with good weather and successful. Some sixty staff in total including myself, my family members, my disciples, the staff looking after the water supply, reception, cloakroom and gardening, were there to receive about one hundred and eighty visitors each day. You may wonder why we needed so many staff but this is what is needed for great hospitality.

Our school is characterized not only by a significant number of students, but also by their willingness to welcome guests. That is why they rejoice in our tea ceremonies.

My main role was to prepare thick tea in my tea room but I also ensured the atmosphere of the water supply rooms, the meal rooms, and the light tea rooms were acceptable. As there were so many of us there may have been some parts lacking here and there. But each of us had a strong will to do well and as the organizer of the ceremonies, I was happy and proud of it.

When I was young, the new year's tea ceremony never reached that level of perfection. I think we were more carefree and relaxed about it. I know that some appreciated the art of tea at the time because of the laid-back atmosphere.

However, in modern society we have this concern to make people forget their troubles and help them to rest by enjoying a bowl of tea in just a short space of time and this requires more effort than in the past.

 My task is to ensure my staff understands this. The art of tea allows me to understand how important it is to have high regard not only for one's guests but also for oneself and those around you.

These first ceremonies of the year were an occasion for me to advance on the path to perfection. In addition, this year we welcomed a team of cameramen to produce a television documentary. I hope you will have the pleasure of seeing, through these documentary, scenes that you may have missed in tea ceremony.