TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2016 6:15 - 7:15 P.M.
Sumie (Sumi) Maruyama has been performing the tea ceremony at Urasenke School for almost 40 years. Her graceful interpretation of this beautifully choreographed ceremony will instill all participants with a new appreciation of the Way of Tea.
The ceremony consists of four parts:
1. purifying the tea utensils
2. making the tea
3. serving tea
You will be served a traditional Japanese sweet along with the tea; the two flavors combine to form a perfect balance of taste, which in turn, inspires a feeling of harmony within.
To drink tea like a professional, after receiving the chawan, (tea bowl), turn the bowl clockwise in 2 small motions to avoid drinking directly from the front. Drink the tea to the last sip then, wipe the place where you drank from with your right thumb and index finger. Turn the bowl back after finishing so that you can appreciate the beauty of the chawan.
Green tea (matcha) was introduced to Japan in 12th century by Zen monks returning from study in China, and at first it was used as a medicine to clear the mind during meditation.
In the 16th century, Sen Rikyu developed the simple act of serving and drinking of tea into a way of life. For the past 400 years, the “Way of Tea” has been continued by Rikyu's descendants and followers. Urasenke (Sumi’s school of tea ceremony) stands by the principles of harmony with people and nature, respect of others, purity of mind, and tranquility from appreciation of the natural world around us.
“In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea; I see all of nature represented in its green color. Silently, sitting alone, drinking tea, I feel these become part of me. Sharing this bowl of tea with others, they, too, become one with it and nature.” Dr. Genshitsu Sen, Urasenke Grand Master XV
Although most of Sumi’s students are Japanese, she also teaches tea ceremony to American military members (and their family members) stationed in Japan.
She has worked closely with American military members and their spouses for 26 years, and directly for the US Government since 2003. Currently, Sumi is the Community Relations Specialist at US Navy Air Facility Atsugi, in Japan. She acts as liaison between the US Navy base and local governments/organizations.