About Midorikai Alumni


The mission of the Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association is to provide an organization whereby former Midorikai students can maintain contact with and support each other in our continued study and practice in the Way of Tea, and to strive to uphold the timeless principles of Urasenke in the 21st century. Non Midorikai students are encouraged to join as friends of UMAA.

Membership in the Association is voluntary. An Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association member is defined as:


President: Larry Tiscornia (USA)

Treasurer: Christy Bartlett (USA)

Secretary: Sharon Stephens (USA)

Urszula Mach-Bryson (Poland)

Gretchen Mittwer (Japan)

Kornélia Rajzó-Kontor (Hungary)

Žiga Novak (Slovenia)

Philip Hafferty (USA)

Lindsey Stirek (USA)

Selected Timeline of Midorikai and UMAA


Iemoto Hounsai Soshitsu Sen XV establishes an official class at Urasenke headquarters for non-Japanese students and places Mrs. Akiko Mori, head of the Urasenke Foreign Affairs Department, in charge of managing the class. According to records kept by the Urasenke Foreign Affairs Department, by 1970 five non-Japanese from abroad had studied at Urasenke Konnichian under the auspices of Iemoto Hounsai. The earliest student (September 1966–June 1967) was a woman from New York.


Iemoto Hounsai gives the group/class of non-Japanese students the name “Midorikai” (“Green Society”). His wife, Mrs. Tomiko Sen, is who proposes this name, from the idea that tea is green, and the Midorikai students, no matter their nationality or ethnicity, are chajin or “tea people.”


The Midorikai class/study program becomes an official division of the Urasenke Gakuen Professional College of Chado. Nevertheless, it is managed by the Urasenke Foreign Affairs Department until 2015.


Urasenke hosts its first International Convention in Honolulu to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Urasenke Hawaii Chapter (Urasenke’s first overseas chapter) and Iemoto Hounsai’s 50 years of international activities.

As a study excursion, current Midorikai students all travel to Hawaii to attend the convention, as do many Midorikai alumni from around the world. They meet to discuss the establishment of a Midorikai Alumni Association and form a steering committee.


Iemoto Hounsai and his heir, Wakasosho Sen Soshi, officially approve the establishment of the Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association (UMAA). The UMAA website is established.


Scholarships funded by the Urasenke Foundation have provided for the room-and-board and schooling of the majority of Midorikai’s full-year students. As of March 2020, the number of people who have studied in the Midorikai program for one school year or more has reached nearly 520, with an additional 90+ who have studied in the program as short-term students (at least two weeks), and many more for even shorter periods.