Categories
News Soke News

Greeting from Zabosai Oiemoto

御家元 顔写真 右肩前

Urasenke has a strong history of activity outside Japan, and of supporting the study of Japan’s comprehensive traditional culture of chado by international researchers and students. From the mid-1960s, we began to see a rising number of those desiring to study at Konnichian, and so Daisosho, who was Iemoto at the time, established an official class for them in 1970, which in 1973 he named the Midorikai, a name suggested to him by his wife, my mother. The number of people who have studied in the Midorikai program for a year or more has surpassed five hundred, and if those who have studied in it for shorter periods are included, the number is even greater.


All of you students from abroad who have studied at Urasenke, no matter your ethnicity, are chajin, “tea people.” I am eager for the UMAA, which was formally established in 2002 through the efforts of a handful of you, to flourish as an organization that links all Midorikai alumni in your ongoing pursuit of chado.

Categories
News Soke News

Greeting from Hounsai Daisosho

千玄室大宗匠 顔写真

It has been seventy years since, carrying with me some tea utensils, I took my first trip to America in 1951, before the signing of the UN Peace Treaty with Japan, hoping to bring global peace among all humanity by means of Japan’s peaceful chado culture. I have been to over sixty countries since then, places in every region and on every continent, promoting my message of “Peacefulness through a bowl of tea.” This phrase has happily become Urasenke’s international catchphrase, expressing the idea that chanoyu engenders both personal and societal peace. Even though our languages and customs may differ, our experience sharing in a bowl of tea brings our hearts together. Urasenke chado students around the world understand this well. Those of you who have ever spent time in the Midorikai program in Kyoto, I urge you to keep up your involvement with chado, and to share the ethos of “Peacefulness through a bowl of tea” with many people.

Let us overcome the Coronavirus-19 with a bowl of tea! Let us keep up our spirits and do our best! At a time like this, how about trying ittei ikkyaku (one host, one guest) tea, which involves just two people?

Categories
Alumni News Latest News

Online Security for the Urasenke Midorikai Alumni OneWorld Chakai

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We are aware of the issues that have been reported recently on the Zoom platform.

We understand your concerns and assure you that we share them! Because Zoom has emerged as the primary video conferencing platform for most people conducting work from home over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of news about Zoom and the perception of its security flaws.

While it is true that there have been a few highly publicized incidents recently, they are rare on properly structured events. For example, our users at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) are running classes for 40,000 students each week, almost exclusively on Zoom, not to mention meetings and regular research work that is on-going on this platform.

The vast majority of Zoom interactions have taken place without issues and we are confident that in this case, the platform will enable us to experiment with really trying to bring tea people and Midorikai alumni around the world together in real time (if not, sadly, real space) to share tea.

Bottom line: this meeting is being put together by users who have enterprise level, paid accounts and are intimately familiar with the staging of large, online meetings using this platform.

Here are the ways we are addressing security for the Midorikai Alumni OneWorld Chakai:

  • Only hosts and co-hosts (regional moderators) can control the meeting.
  • We are using the waiting-room (machiai) feature to control access to the meeting.
  • Access to the meeting will be allowed only by registered and approved email addresses.
  • The meeting itself is password protected.
  • There will be no file sharing, private chat or annotations (this is controlled by the meeting host)

You can use Zoom in the browser without installing the Zoom plugin or app – when prompted you should see a link to continue in the browser. (The link is very small – you might miss it so don’t blow past it)

Zoom prefers you install the app because audio may not be available when using the service via the web browser (Chrome allows audio, Firefox and Safari may not). If you are using Zoom by web browser only, you may need to make a phone call to the number provided (fees may apply) in order to get the audio portion.

* In any case, you are required to create an account first on Zoom in order to use the Zoom platform *

We are not discussing government, banking or trade secrets and are taking all possible precautions, so we anticipate successfully staging the Midorikai Alumni OneWorld Chakai using the Zoom platform. If you are still uncomfortable participating in the online version, we do invite you to participate offline.

UPDATE: On May 3 you can also watch the OneWorld Chakai live stream on our website or catch the live stream on our Facebook page.
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Categories
News Soke News

Rikyu-ki Message from Oiemoto Zabosai

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”” color=”grey”]The following is a message from Iemoto Zabosai to Urasenke followers both domestic and international, composed on the occasion of the Rikyu Memorial (Rikyu-ki) on March 28, 2020. Along with a large number of other Urasenke events this year, the 2020 Rikyu-ki observance at Urasenke Konnichian, was closed to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic.[/vc_cta][vc_column_text]

A message from Zabosai Soshitsu Sen Grand Master XVI, Urasenke Chado Tradition

On the day of Rikyu-ki, March 28, 202

The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing, with cities worldwide having restrictions on leaving one’s house and so forth, and an ineffable sense of anxiety overshadows not only Japan but the whole world. For a while more, each of you please personally be aware of the crisis and practice self-care. We must ride out this calamitous time. I do not know what the social environment will be like after that, but I believe that we will return to a place in which, with this single bowl of tea, we can share and interact with each other once more.[/vc_column_text]

To those who long only for the flowers,

Show them Spring

In the grass peeking through the snow

In the mountain village

[vc_column_text]Our society is presently covered in a heavy blanket of snow. However, we should not be discouraged. Flowers and humans each have their own life energy. Let us put faith in that energy, for the day should not be far off when the grass will sprout through the snow.

View the original document here[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
News Soke News

Introducing Ms. Makiko Sakata

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Ms. Makiko Sakata
Honorary President of the Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association

Makiko Sakata was born in Kyoto in 1987 to Zabosai Soshitsu Sen XVI, sixteenth generation Grand Master of the Urasenke Tradition, and to Masako Sen, second daughter of His Imperial Highness Prince Takahito of Mikasa. After graduating from high school, Ms. Sakata continued her education in the International Studies Program, College of Humanities, at Ritsumeikan University. She received her Bachelors Degree in 2010.

Ms. Sakata serves on the Board of Directors of Konnichian’s Urasenke Foundation in Kyoto. As such she plays an important role in the many activities and programs that Urasenke Konnichian offers within Japan and internationally. In 2015 she participated in the opening events of the Japan Pavilion for Expo Milano. Later that same year Ms. Sakata led a program at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. More recently she headed the Introduction to Chado program in the United Arab Emirates in 2017. Ms. Sakata also acts as a Visiting Professor at the Kyoto Notre Dame University.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”2924″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border” label=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]At her father Zabosai Oiemoto sama’s suggestion, Ms. Makiko Sakata has consented to become the Honorary President of UMAA. The Urasenke Midorikai Alumni Association is honored that she has agreed to become our honorary president. She delivered the opening address of the third International UMAA meeting held in Kyoto, Japan, on June 28, 2018. This meeting was attended by the 53 participants of the first International Intensive Study and by current Midorikai students. [Minutes of this meeting are posted on the UMAA website midorikai.org] She spoke about studying Chanoyu as a Way which naturally leads to the growth of humanistic values. Ms. Sakata encourages all of us to practice our Tea in a manner that will fulfill Daisosho sama’s vision of Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea.

We look forward to Ms. Sakata’s guidance and leadership into the future![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Recipes

Sakura Mochi

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • cooked mochi rice
  • azuki koshian (smooth bean paste)
  • salted cherry leaves
  • kanten (agar agar) 1/4 stick
  • water 500cc (2c)
  • sugar 100gm (3.5oz)

PREPARATION

  • Wash the kanten and tear it into small pieces. Soak in cold water until it softens a bit.
  • Cook the kanten and water over low heat until it is dissolved and then add the sugar. Cook until everything is dissolved and then let cool. Use this liquid to moisten your hands when working with the mochi rice. (If small pieces of kanten remain, the mixture can be strained.)
  • Quickly rinse the cherry leaves in fresh cold water and gently pat dry.
  • Use approximately 20gm (0.7oz) koshian and 25gm (0.9oz) to 30gm (1.2oz) rice. Flatten out the rice and wrap it around an an ball. Roll between the palms of the hands to make even shapes. Wrap a cherry leaf around the mochi ball. (The dull side of the leaf is on the outside.)
  • If you don’t have salted cherry leaves, you can put the rice ball between two camellia leaves and you have tsubaki mochi.

for mochi

  • mochi (sweet) rice 400cc (1.6c)
  • boiling water 400cc (1.6c)
  • sugar 150gm (5.28oz)
  • red food color

PREPARATION

  • Remove any small rocks, etc. from the rice. Wash it well in fresh cold water and soak it overnight in ample cold water.
  • Drain the rice and place it in a cloth-lined steamer (remember to place a towel under the lid). Steam over high heat for 30 to 45-minutes or until the rice is cooked and is soft.
  • Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and add red color (approx. 3 drops) to achieve desired pink color.
  • Remove the cooked rice to a glass or stainless steel bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Using a wooden spoon, mix the rice and hot water well.
  • Cover the rice with a damp cloth and then the entire bowl in foil (to help keep it warm). Let the rice sit for 1-hour, uncover and mix again and it is then ready to use for the sakura mochi sweets.
  • When you mix the rice you can push it a bit to break down some of the grains to make it slightly more sticky. (Makes approx. 30 sweets.)

for salted cherry leaves

Salted cherry leaves can be purchased at some markets in Japan. You can also find an excellent array of sakura products online at Anything From Japan.

PREPARATION

  • Pick fresh cherry leaves from the yaezakura (double cherry tree) just after the blossoms fall from the tree and the leaves are the right size. The longer you wait the harder the leaves will be.
  • Wash the leaves well in fresh cold water, drain and blanch in boilng water quickly (in and out).
  • Separate the leaves in a cloth lined steamer and gently steam for a minute or two. Remove from the steamer and place in fresh cold water to cool. Drain. Layer the leaves in a glass (or non corrosive) container sprinkling salt between each layer. Salt the top layer as well. Place a weight over the top and remove the weight after a day. The leaves will keep well in the refrigerator (or they may be frozen).

for tsubaki mochi (camellia mochi)

  • Prepare mochi rice as for sakura mochi. The red food coloring can also be omitted.
  • Wash fresh camellia leaves well in cold water and pat dry. Cut off both pointed ends to square off.
  • Wrap the mochi rice around an an ball as for sakura mochi. Place between two camellia leaves (the shinny side of the leaves are on the inside).
  • NOTE : The leaves are removed before eating the sweet
Categories
Recipes

Sasamaki – bamboo leaf wrapped sweets

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kuzu (Eng. kudzu [Pueraria lobata] 100gm (3.5oz)
  • white sugar 50gm (1.8oz)
  • brown sugar 50gm (1.8oz)
  • kurosato (black sugar) 100gm (3.5oz)
  • water 400cc (1.6c)
  • sasa (bamboo leaves)

PREPARATION

  1. Pick small sized leaves (available dried in Asian markets). Wash well in cold water and soak in fresh cold water overnight. Scrub both sides well with a soft brush or sponge and rinse again. Have a pot of boiling water ready and place the leaves in the hot water for approximately 15 seconds (4 or 5 at a time is fine). Cool in cold water and keep in fresh cold water until ready to use. When ready to make the sweets wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove excess moisture. (Note – If the leaves are too wide they may have to be narrowed to 3 1/2″ or so. It’s easy to do by just tearing lengthwise and scissors will also come in handy to shorten the length if needed.)
  2. If the black sugar pieces are too large you can cut into small pieces with a heavy knife or genty crush with a mallet. Mix with some of the 400cc of water from the recipe and in a heavy bottom pan dissolve over low heat. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Dissolve the kuzu in the remaining water and mix until all of the lumps are gone.
  4. Place the kuzu/water mixture in a heavy bottom pot and add all of the sugar, including the dissolved black sugar that has been cooled. Over low/medium heat stir the kuzu mixture continuously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will begin to thicken in big “clumps” but don’t worry. (If the mixture gets too hot and thickens too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir.) Place it back on the heat and continue to stir and cook until the mixture is very thick and somewhat clears. Place the pan in a larger pan of hot water to keep the mixture from hardening.
  5. Using a couple of spoons, place some of the hot kuzu mixture (40 to 45gm) into a bamboo leaf and wrap the leaf around the kuzu to form a package. Tuck one end into the package and let it come out the other end. Pull the end that you just stuck through the other side and gently pull. Trim any extra folded leaf that is sticking out. Place the packages into a cloth lined steamer and steam over high heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool. When the sweets are cool they can be placed in a lidded plastic container that has a damp cloth on the bottom. Another damp cloth can be placed on top of the sweets. One recipe makes approximately 10-12 sweets.

NOTE: If you plan to serve these sweets cold they should be placed in the refrigerator for no more than 1 to 1 1/2 hours before serving. They can also be served on top of a bowl of ice. If left in the refrigerator too long they will become hard and rubbery.

Categories
Recipes

Tamasudare – jeweled reed blinds

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kanten (agar agar) 14gm (0.5oz) or 2 sticks
  • water 900cc (3.6c.)
  • sugar 300gm (10.5oz)
  • mizuame (or light corn syrup) 2T
  • koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) approx. 30gm (1oz) per sweet
  • yellow food color – approx. 2 drops
  • umeshu (plum wine) 1T

PREPARATION

  1. Wash the kanten well in cold water and remove any black/brown specks. Soak in fresh cold water to cover for a couple of hours. Squeeze the excess water from the kanten and tear into small pieces. Place the kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low heat until the kanten is dissolved.
  2. Add the sugar and mizuame, or corn syrup. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Strain through a fine strainer and return to the pot and cook a little longer. (Be careful that you do not cook too long or the kanten will become too hard.)
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in umeshu and a small amount of yellow food color to achieve a golden color. Stir well.
  5. Pour into a parchment-lined nagashikan mold, that is approximately 6″ X 7″ X 2″ (1000cc [4c.]) and let cool. Bubbles can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the surface. (Note: Any similar size glass or plastic container may be used.)
  6. Form the bean paste into tawara (bale) shapes.
  7. Using a serrated tofu knife, cut the kanten into long, thin strips. The strips should be long enough to wrap completely around the formed bean paste. Carefully wrap the kanten around the bean paste. The sweets can be chilled before serving. Place on a towel to blot any excess moisture before serving

NOTE: Any non acidic flavoring can also be added when adding the color. Acid will cause the kanten not to gel properly.

Categories
Recipes

Mizubotan – water peony

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kuzu (kudzu) 1 part / 50gm (1.75oz)
  • sugar 2 parts / 100gm (3.5oz)
  • water 4 parts / 200cc (0.8c.)
  • pink koshian (smooth bean paste) approx. 20gm (3/4oz) per sweet

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare approximately 20gm (3/4oz) pink koshian balls that will be the center of the sweet.
  2. Dissolve the kuzu in the water until all of the lumps are dissolved.
  3. Place the kuzu/water in a heavy bottom pot (enameled cast iron is best) and mix in the sugar. Cook over low/medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and begins to clear. *If the heat is too high, and the mixture thickens too quickly, remove the pot from the heat and continue to stir. When it cools a bit, return the pot to the heat.
  4. When clear, remove the pot from the heat and place in a pan of hot water to keep the mixture from hardening. Using a wooden spoon, take some of the hot kuzu (approximately 25gm [1oz]) and place on your finger tips (have a pan of cold water ready to cool your fingers). Place the an ball on top of the kuzu, turn upside down and form the kuzu around the an ball. Pinch the kuzu to enclose the an ball completely.
    *You can also wrap the formed sweet in plastic wrap, twisting the top closed, for a nice even shape.
  5. Place in a preheated cloth lined steamer and steam over med/high heat for 5 minutes or so. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool. Makes approximately 10-12 sweets.
  6. NOTE: mizubotan can be served chilled but should not be kept in the refrigerator too long or they will become “rubbery.”
Categories
Recipes

Karukan

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • nagaimo (long mountain yam) 85gm (3oz)
  • granulated sugar 140gm (4.9oz)
  • joshinko [komenoko] rice flour 100gm (3.5oz)
  • water – approx. 2T – 4T
  • baking powder 3/4tsp
  • dried yomogi (mugwort) approx. 1/2 loose Tbl.
  • optional flavor or color

PREPARATION

  1. Peel the long mountain yam and remove any brown spots that remain.
  2. Grate the yam into a large bowl using a fine grater. Using your fingers, mix the sugar into the grated yam in small increments, blending well until the sugar is dissolved and no lumps remain.
  3. Mix in 1T of the water that has been mixed with the dried yomogi and allowed to reconstitute for a couple of minutes. Add 1T more water then add the sifted rice flour and baking powder, mixing until the flour is well blended and no lumps remain. Mix until the mixture is like a smooth pancake batter. More water can be added if necessary. (The amount of water may vary depending on the temperature, location, etc. Be careful that the batter doesn’t become too thin or watery.
  4. If using flavor or color they can be added at this point. Various colors such as pink in the spring and green in the summer can be used to evoke a feeling of the season:
    • Japanese matcha, powdered green tea, can be used for a natural green color (For this recipe 1 1/2tsp matcha can be mixed with the rice flour before mixing with the yam).
    • Japanese umeshu, plum wine, can be used as a flavoring during the spring and summer.
    • Daitokuji natto, salty fermented black beans, can be cut into small pieces and mixed in the batter.
    • Lightly roasted white or black sesame seeds can also be mixed in the batter.
    • Finely chopped crystalized ginger or grated orange zest can also be used.
  5. Prepare a steamer placing a damp cotton cloth on the steamer surface.
  6. Pour the batter into a 12cm X 15cm (5″ X 6″) parchment paper lined nagashikan, stainless steel lined mold, (with the liner removed) or another suitable parchment lined container.
  7. Place the mold in the steamer and place a cotton towel under the lid to absorb excess moisture. Steam over medium high heat for approx. 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out fairly dry. Keep the lid ajar for the first 5 mintues, or so, to prevent cracking. (The steaming time may also vary depending on the size and thickness of the mold.)
  8. Remove the mold from the steamer. Wring excess moisture from the cloth that is in the steamer and return it to the steamer surface.
  9. Carefully remove the cake from the mold by lifting it with the parchment paper. Without removing the parchment paper return the cake to the steamer and steam over medium high heat for about 10 minutes longer. When ready, remove from the steamer and let the cake cool on a wire rack.
  10. When cool, carefully remove the parchment paper and cut into serving size pieces. For cutting, either a taut piece of wire or thick nylon fishing line, works best. A knife tends to pull and smash the cake. If using a knife the finished sweet can be turned upside down and cut from the bottom side for a nicer look on the top.

    This recipe makes about 8 – 10 smaller chanoyu sweets. This recipe can be doubled and a larger nagashikan can also be used.
Categories
Recipes

Hatsugari – first goose

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kuzu (Eng. kudzu [Pueraria lobata] 100gm (3.5oz)
  • white sugar 50gm (1.8oz)
  • brown sugar 50gm (1.8oz)
  • kurosato (black sugar) 100gm (3.5oz)
  • water 400cc (1.6c)
  • yurine (lily bulb) or nagaimo (long yam)

PREPARATION

  1. If the black sugar pieces are too large you can cut into small pieces with a heavy knife or smash with a mallet. Mix with a small amount of the 400cc of water from the recipe and in a heavy bottom pan dissolve over low heat. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Dissolve the kuzu in the remaining water and mix until all of the lumps are gone.
  3. Place the kuzu/water mixture in a heavy bottom pot and add all of the sugar, including the dissolved black sugar that has been cooled. Over low/medium heat stir the kuzu mixture continuously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will begin to thicken in big “clumps” but don’t worry. (If the mixture gets too hot and thickens too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir.) Place it back on the heat and continue to stir and cook until the mixture is very thick and somewhat clears.
  4. Remove from the heat and mix in the slivers of lily bulb or long yam.
  5. Place the pan in a larger pan of hot water to keep the mixture from hardening.
  6. Place a piece of plastic wrap in a rice bowl. Using a wooden spoon, place some of the hot kuzu mixture (40 to 45gm) into the plastic wrap. Gather the ends, press out any air and gently twist to make a nice round shape.
  7. Invert the package and place into a cloth lined steamer and steam over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool.
  8. When the sweets are cool they can be unwrapped and placed in a lidded plastic container that has a damp cloth on the bottom. Another damp cloth can be placed on top of the sweets. One recipe makes approximately 10 sweets.
  9. NOTE: It is best not to refrigerate the sweets as they will be rubbery.
Categories
Recipes

Hanamidango

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

The name of this sweet means “flower viewing dumplings” eaten during the cherry blossom season. The brown represents the tree trunk and branches, the green the leaves and the pink the blossoms.

Make 3 batches of konashi (one with pink colored bean paste, one with azuki (adzuki) bean paste and one white bean paste flavored/colored with yomogi [mugwort]). You can either use fresh yomogi that has been washed, blanched and chopped, or the dried variety available in Japanese and Asian markets. If using the dried variety, soften in a little cold water before using. If yomogi is not available a nice flavor and color can be achieved by using matcha, powdered green tea.

Divide each of the 3 batches into 15gm (1/2oz) pieces and roll into smooth balls in the palms of you hands using a little mitsu if needed. Using a bamboo skewer, first thread the brown ball, then the green one and finally the pink.

If serving in a traditional dangobako (dumpling box) leave a little space between the green and pink ball so that the skewer can rest on the box divider. It is also a good idea to place the pink ball so that it covers the tip of the skewer.

INGREDIENTS

konashi

  • koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) 300gm (10.6oz) (a little harder than usual)
  • white all purpose flour 30gm (approx. 3T)
  • mochiko (sweet rice flour) 3gm (approx. 1tsp)
  • granulated sugar 15gm (approx. 1/2oz)
  • mitsu (sugar water syrup)

PREPARATION

  1. For the mitsu : This sugar water syrup can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator.) Dissolve equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. When the sugar is melted transfer to a glass container and let it cool.
  2. For the konashi: Knead the flour and mochiko into the koshian until it is completely incorporated. Place the mixture in a cloth lined steamer and steam over medium/high heat for approximately 15 minutes or until all of the raw flour taste is gone.
  3. Remove the cloth, and bean paste, from the steamer and knead further using clean damp cotton towels. As you knead the bean paste, slowly incorporate the sugar. (If the bean paste gets too sticky it can be kneaded using plastic film like Saran Wrap [other brands may leave a plastic taste].)
  4. Once the sugar has been completely incorporated, and the bean paste has cooled slightly, the mitsu can be added. Continuing to use a damp towel knead in a small amount of the mitsu (approx. 1 to 2tsp).
  5. Coat the outside of the konashi with some mitsu and place in a glass bowl to cool completely for several hours. The bowl can be covered with plastic wrap after it cools to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead further using a little mitsu on your hands to prevent sticking.
  6. NOTE – If coloring or flavoring is going to be used it can be kneaded in after the mitsu.
  7. One recipe makes approximately 20 dango (dumplings).
Categories
Recipes

Midori no Hoshi – green stars

Glenn A. Sorei Pereira
GAPereira@aol.com

Named by Hounsai Daisosho みどりの星 midori no hoshi (green stars),this sweet was designed by Midorikai alum Glenn A. Sorei Pereira of Boston, MA, for the 40th Midorikai Reunion tea in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 19, 2010.

INGREDIENTS

  • Powered kanten 12g
  • Water 600 cc (2.4c)
  • Granulated sugar 700g (25oz)
  • Light corn syrup 80g (3oz)
  • Limoncello 4 tbs
  • Blue food coloring 3 drops
  • Nagashikan (lined mold) 5 ½” x 6″
  • Kinpaku (gold leaf) a few sprinkles on each sweet

PREPARATION

  1. Place kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low/medium heat until it reaches a light boil. It is important to stir continuously.
  2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved and once again bring to a light boil. Add corn syrup and continue to stir. Once again bring to a light boil. Turn off heat and add limoncello and coloring.
  3. Ladle hot mixture into nagashikan that has been rinsed in cold water. Bubbles or residue that form on top can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the top. Let cool at room temperature until solid.
  4. Remove from nagashikan and cut length into thirds. Cut each third into fifths with serrated tofu knife. Refrigerate to chill and sprinkle with kinpaku before serving.
  5. Makes 15 sweets.
Categories
Recipes

Hanabiramochi

Glenn A. Sorei Pereira
GAPereira@aol.com

Classic hanabira mochi is actually very easy to make, but does take planning ahead – Glenn Sorei Pereira breaks it all down.

INGREDIENTS

gyuhi skins

  • shiratamako (sweet rice flour) – 50gm (1.76oz)
  • water – 100cc (0.4C.)
  • joshinko (rice flour) – 70gm (2.46oz)
  • water – 130cc (0.52oz)
  • sugar – 100gm (3.52oz)
  • mochiko – as needed
  • gobo (burdock root) – as needed
  • carrot – as needed
  • red coloring – enough to make some of the dough pink (or separate batch)

misoan (miso flavored sweet bean paste)

  • saikyo miso (sweet “Kyoto” miso) – as needed to personal taste
  • lima beans or Japanese tebo beans – 1 to 3 pounds
  • sugar – as needed to personal taste
  • mizuame or light Karo corn syrup – 5 or more tablespoons

gobo no satozuke (candied burdock root)

  • gobo – depending on how many sweets are being made
  • carrots – depending on how many sweets are being made
  • water – enough to cover gobo/carrot
  • sugar – double the water plus more

PREPARATION

gobo no satozuke (carrot can also be done at the same time, if used)

  1. Wash and peel gobo and cut into lengths so that it will extend beyond both edges of the gyuhi rounds by about 1/2cm on each side when placed on the middle of the round and 2 or 3cm square.
  2. After cutting, soak in water for 1/2 hour and then steam until soft through (if undercooked at this point and you proceed there will be no way to correct so you will have to begin again).
  3. Dissolve 2 parts of sugar in 1 part of water in a pan and place gobo in and bring to a low boil (do not boil too strongly so as to raise the syrup to the candy stage).
  4. The quantity of sugar/water syrup should be enough to cover gobo.
  5. Cook for about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour and remove from heat and cool with gobo remaining in the sugar/water syrup.
  6. When completely cool add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the pan and bring to the boil again to dissolve the newly added sugar.
  7. Remove from heat and cool.
  8. Repeat this process about 10 more times over two or three days, each time adding more sugar.
  9. During the final cooking have a dish of fine granulated sugar ready (caster sugar works well).
  10. Using chopsticks lift 2 or 3 pieces of gobo from pan and allow excess sugar solution to drip off.
  11. Place in dish with sugar and completely cover.
  12. Lift out gobo and place on flat tray and let cool.
    (Note – Do not let gobo cool after last cooking but make sure to place it in the granulated sugar while hot.)

misoan (miso flavored sweet bean paste)

  1. Follow regular an recipe except add saikyo miso to an after sugar is added. Add miso to personal taste. Start by adding a little and work your way up.
  2. Misoan should be very soft unlike an that is molded.

gyuhi skins

about 10 to 14 pcs

  1. Combine shiratamako and 100cc of water.
  2. Combine joshinko and sugar in 130cc of water and mix well to dissolve all lumps.
  3. Combine the shiratamako and joshinko mixtures and cook over medium heat until it gets very thick and doughy.
  4. Place the mixture that is now quite thick on a piece of Saran Wrap, or other cellophane wrap, lightly dusted with mochiko to prevent sticking.
  5. Carefully fold the four sides over the dough, one at a time, pressing gently to eliminate all air bubbles.
  6. The wrap should have no air spaces between it and the dough.
  7. Steam for about 10 minutes or until cooked completely through.
  8. (If the mixture is spread flat on the wrap it will cook quickly and completely through.)
  9. Remove from steamer and let cool for a few minutes to make handling easier (separate small amount to be tinted pink or make a separate pink batch).
  10. While still hot, roll flat on a board covered with mochiko to prevent sticking.
  11. Roll out to about 2 or 3mm (1/8″ – 3/16″) thick.
  12. Continue to use mochiko on board and roller to prevent sticking but being careful not to use too much.
  13. Flour a round shaped cutter or the rim of a rice bowl, about 10-12cm (4″) in diameter, and cut out rounds of the dough.
  14. Place on flat surface until ready to assemble.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Tint some of the gyuhi dough pink and roll and cut into diamond shapes.
  2. Place a pink diamond on a round white gyuhi skin.
  3. Place one carrot and one gobo on center of diamond/round (or just 2 gobo).
  4. Place spoon full of misoan on top of gobo/carrot.
  5. Gently fold over gyuhi in half making sure the top covers the bottom.
  6. Be sure to dust off excess mochiko.
  7. For best results hishihanabiramochi should be assembled just before serving. The salt in the miso will begin leaching water from the gyuhi dough and will be come sticky and “sweaty” the longer it sits.
Categories
Recipes

Aoume konashi – green plum

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • koshian (sweet smooth bean paste) 300gm (10.6oz)
  • flour 30gm (approx. 3T)
  • mochiko (sweet rice flour) 3gm (approx. 1tsp)
  • granulated sugar 15gm (approx. 1/2oz)
  • mitsu (sugar water syrup)
  • shiro-an (sweet white bean paste) 200gm (7oz)
  • green & yellow coloring

PREPARATION

  • mitsu is sugar water syrup that can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. To make mitsu , dissolve equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. When the sugar is melted transfer to a glass container and let it cool.
  • For the konashi , knead the flour and mochiko into the koshian until it is completely incorporated.
  • Place the mixture in a cloth lined steamer and steam over medium/high heat for approximately 15 minutes or until all of the raw flour taste is gone.
  • Remove the cloth, and bean paste, from the steamer and knead further using clean damp cotton towels. As you knead the bean paste, slowly incorporate the sugar. If the bean paste gets too sticky it can be kneaded using plastic film like Saran Wrap.) Once the sugar has been completely incorporated, and the bean paste has cooled slightly, the mitsu can be added. Continuing to use a damp towel knead in a small amount of the mitsu (approx. 1 to 2tsp). Coat the outside of the konashi with some mitsu and place in a glass bowl to cool completely for several hours. The bowl can be covered with plastic wrap after it cools to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead further using a little mitsu on your hands to prevent sticking.
  • NOTE: If coloring or flavoring is To be used it can be kneaded in after the mitsu .
  • To make aoume , green plum shaped sweets, prepare green konashi using green and yellow color.
  • Wrap about 25gm (.88oz) green konashi around a 15gm (.5oz) ball of white an (sweet bean paste). Using a small piece of wood with sharp edges (like a kamaboko fish-cake board), press the pointed edge into the end of the konashi. Rotate the sharp edge of the board to opposite side creating an indented line.
Categories
Recipes

Ajisasi Kinton (hydrangea kinton)

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • kanten (agar agar) 3.5gm or 1/2 stick
  • water 225cc (0.9c.)
  • sugar 75gm (2.64oz)
  • mizuame or light corn syrup 1.5 tsp
  • yellow food color (approx 1 small drop)

PREPARATION

  • Wash the kanten well in cold water and remove any black/brown specks. Soak in fresh cold water to cover for a couple of hours. Squeeze the excess water from the kanten and tear into small pieces. Place the kanten and water in a heavy bottom pan and cook over low heat until the kanten is dissolved stirring now and again. Be careful that the mixture doesn’t boil too high as it will become too thick.
  • Add the sugar and mizuame, or light corn syrup, after the kanten is completely dissolved. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Be careful that you do not cook too long or the kanten will become too hard.) Turn off the heat and mix in a small amount of yellow food color, to achieve a golden color. Stir in well.
  • Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a nagashikan, lined mold, that is approximately 7″ X 7″ and let cool. Bubbles can be removed by running a piece of Japanese washi paper over the surface. Once cool unmold and cut into approximately 1/8″ squares. (note – Any container of the same approximate size can be substituted for the nagashikan.)
  • Make small balls of an (bean paste) approx. 15gm (1/2oz) for the center.
  • Press the prepared an through a sieve forming strands. (Coarser or finer mesh will create different finished effects.)
  • Use damp pointed bamboo chopsticks to gather a small pile of strands. Place a small ball of an on top of the gathered strands. Continue to place strands around the an ball, pressing lightly so they stick together, until desired shape is created. A good size finished sweet is about 40gm to 45gm (approx. 1 1/2oz).
  • Using pointed chopsticks place some of the kanten jewels around the top of the sweet.
Categories
Recipes

Koshian: Sweet, Smooth Bean Paste

Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • Baby lima beans or azuki (adzuki) beans 454 gm (1 lb)
  • White granulated sugar 250 gm (8.8 oz)

PREPARATION

  • Check the beans carefully and discard any that are off color or broken.
  • Remove any small rocks.
  • Rinse the beans in cold water several times and then soak overnight in plenty of cold water to soften.
  • Discard soaking water, rinse and cover beans with fresh cold water.
  • Bring the beans and water to the boil and skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

  • Discard the hot water once it comes to the boil and once again cover with cold water and bring to the boil, continuing to remove any foam that forms. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times.
  • Cover the beans with plenty of fresh cold water and boil until cooked well, usually about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and press the cooked beans through a very fine strainer into a clean bowl. NOTE: The strainer can be placed into the bean water, that empties into the bowl, to make separating the skins easier.

  • Discard the skins from the strainer and wash the strainer.
  • Strain the pureed beans and water several times to make it very smooth. Discard any bean residue that remains in the strainer.

  • Pour the pureed beans and liquid into a thin cotton bag.

  • Wring the bag to remove excess liquid. Be careful not to remove too much liquid from the beans. Usually an indentation made by pressing a finger into the beans will hold its shape. If it crumbles, too much water has been removed.

  • Remove the beans from the bag.

  • Place in a heavy pot (enameled cast iron is ideal). Add the sugar and cook over medium heat, mixing constantly with a wooden spoon, until all of the sugar is dissolved.
    The temperature of the beans and sugar should be brought to the point that the mixture begins to bubble or boil. Once it reaches this temperature the heat can be turned down but continue to stir until the proper consistency has been obtained. A back and forth mixing is preferred to circular mixing. The finished bean paste will have a more shinny appearance if done this way.

NOTE: If too much water was removed initially, more hot water can be added while cooking the beans and sugar. If too little water was removed it will be necessary to cook the beans and sugar much longer to remove the excess water. It is important to stir continuously to avoid burning.

  • When ready, place the prepared bean paste on a glass or ceramic plate to cool.If coloring or flavoring is to be added it is easy to do while the bean paste is still in the cooking pot with the heat turned off. Remove a little of the bean paste from the pot and add the color to it. Place the colored bean paste back into the pot, a little at a time, and mix it until the color is evenly distributed.
Categories
Recipes

Tsubuan (Chunky Bean Paste)

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Kimika Soko Takechi
Larry Sokyo Tiscornia
teatimes@chanoyu.com

INGREDIENTS

  • azuki (adzuki) beans 200gm (0.4lb)
  • sugar 200gm (0.4lb)
    either white or 1/2 white & 1/2 dark brown
  • light corn syru

PREPARATION

  1. Check the beans and discard any small rocks or those that are broken or off-color. Rinse the beans in cold water several times and soak overnight in plenty of cold water. To cook – drain the beans and rinse again in fresh water. Drain, transfer to a heavy bottom pot and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that forms. Boil until cooked (1 to 2-hours depending on the beans)
  2. Drain the water from the beans and add the sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and let sit for approx. 8 hours.
  3. Heat the beans, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until the beans thicken and there is no more liquid left. Add a small amount (approx. 5% of bean total) of light corn syrup and cook until it is thick. Turn off the heat and continue to stir. Remove to a dish and cover with a damp towel until cool.

OPTIONAL: You can add about 1/3 koshian (smooth bean paste) to 2/3 tsubuan for a different finished texture. Add the koshian during the final cooking before adding the corn syrup.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Alumni News News

UMAA Donation Thank You from Urasenke

URASENKE TANKOKAI FEDERATION

682 Teranouchi Tate-cho
Horikawa Teranouchi agaru
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0073
Japan

June 12, 2019

UMAA Members and Friends

The month of June, “Minazuki,” has so far brought relatively little rain here in Kyoto, with moderately cool and comfortable weather. It is an opportune time to enjoy a bowl of tea outdoors.

Oiemoto and Daisosho were very happy to receive the letter from the UMAA, sent via email and dated June 6, about your donation campaign to contribute to the funding for the Konnichian restoration work. They are certainly pleased to accept the donation which you offer, JPY1,000,000, and deeply appreciate that the UMAA got together to make this contribution.

I am writing to you today, on their behalf as they have asked me and my Kokusaibu department to do, to convey this to all of you members and friends of the UMAA. Oiemoto and Daisosho, together with all of us others at Urasenke Headquarters, are overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude for your much welcome show of continuing support.

The exhausting restoration work on the historical Konnichian tea room complex is still ongoing, but the completion of this immense project which has taken many years already is not far away. Thank you, UMAA members and friends who have contributed towards its funding.

Very sincerely,

Kayoko Hirota, Manager
International Affairs Department

Download PDF

Categories
Latest News Soke News

Konnichian Restoration News and UMAA Donation Drive

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Totsutotsusai dismantled

In 2013 Zabosai Oiemoto sama undertook the historic task of complete refurbishment of the Konnichian complex of tearooms. As these tearooms have been designated Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government, the refurbishment is being treated almost as an archeological endeavor. The massive process has now entered its third of four phases.

From the beginning of this year, work began on the tearooms Totsutotsusai, Dairo no ma, Saya no ma, and the Onsodo. This area of the complex was constructed by eleventh generation Gengensai Seichu Soshitsu. And indeed, as the ceiling of Totsutotsusai was dismantled, wood plaques dated 1801 and 1856 were found in the rafters. Zabosai oiemoto will be adding another plaque of his own before the ceiling is sealed once again.

The dismantling also revealed the exact construction method of its famous ceiling, and confirmed that the wood came from the Goyomatsu five-needled pine trees planted by eighth generation Yugensai Itto on Daitokuji grounds.

The original materials will be preserved to the extent possible. If any have been damaged beyond repair, the new materials will be distressed and stained to match the surrounding. Kabe, clay plaster for the walls, has always been intended to be renewed periodically. This will be done where necessary, for example on some of the interior walls of Totsutotsusai. However, the original plaster will be left in place for the Onsodo and other tearooms.

The foundations for this area were replaced with concrete in 1965. This new foundation will be removed, and the foundation returned to its traditional form.

It is hoped that the restoration will be complete by 2020 in time for the Summer Olympics.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”June 12, 2019 Update” shape=”square” style=”flat” color=”grey”]Read the Restoration Fund Donation Acknowledgement from Urasenke[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

UMAA Donation Drive

Urasenke Konnichian has established a fund for this historical project to which those wishing to express their support may contribute. At all of the UMAA meetings held thus far, members expressed a desire to connect with the Sen family and to give something back. Here is a concrete opportunity to do just that.

The names of these tearooms no doubt hold precious memories for Midorikai Alumni. We can be part of Urasenke’s long history and future by donating to the project. UMAA has set a goal of $5,000. To date, pledges for $2,500 have already come in. While the goal is now halfway met, how auspicious it would be to make an even more significant donation!

The projected date to offer the UMAA contribution is February 15, 2019, in time for the observation of Rikyu-ki. A list of contributor names only will be sent along with the offering. If you visit the UMAA website, and press the PayPal link, you may make a contribution to preserve this heritage that we love.

Thank you so much for your generosity.

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