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Daisosho Los Angeles Lecture and Raku Exhibit

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“PEACE THROUGH A BOWL OF TEA”
Bing Theatre
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

Reported by Iris Friedlander, New York

Dr. Genshitsu Sen aka DaisoshoOn a sunny afternoon at the downtown Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Dr. Genshitsu Sen, 15th Grand Master of Urasenke, presented an offertory Tea (kencha-shiki); followed by his 40-minute lecture/demonstration, and a dedicatory Tea. These events, free and open to the public, began at 1 pm, and ran over 2 hours. They were held in conjunction with the extraordinary exhibition, “Raku: The Cosmos in a Tea Bowl”, in the museum’s Pavilion for Japanese Art.

The 600-seat auditorium was packed. Special guests in the audience included Kyoto potter, Raku Atsundo, 34-year old son of Raku Kichizaemon XV. Dr. Robert T. Singer, Curator and Head of Japanese Art at LACMA, opened the program with a charming musical prelude–Japanese ladies performed duets on koto and harp, of the traditional melody “Sakura”, followed by Irving Berlin’s “America”. Daisosho, looking fit and spry at 92 years, presented a ryurei-style offertory Tea, in a somber, slow-paced temae. Driven by his intense desire to contribute to the realization of global peace, he has devoted his life to spreading Chado, the Way of Tea, around the world. Fittingly, this Tea commemorated the end of World War II in 1945.

His on-stage hanging scroll, “Wa Kei Sei Jaku”, represent Chado’s four key principles: harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. Daisosho then prepared Koicha for 10 dignitaries, including Consul General Harry H. Horinouchi, who spoke briefly, Mrs. Horinouchi, Dr. Glenn T. Webb, and others.

His talk wove together threads about Tea, Raku, and his personal experiences, which were expertly translated by Gretchen Mittwer. Daisosho’s smile lit up the large room, as he related that his first tea lesson from his father, Tantansai, began on the 6th day of the 6th month of his 6th year. To accommodate his small hands, Raku Seinyu XIII (1887~1944) was commissioned to make a child-size chawan. This was his first experience with Raku ware – 86 years ago! He explained that in Chanoyu the pottery hierarchy is: ichi Raku, ni Hagi, san Karatsu.

We were reminded that the spectacular Raku exhibit next door was a unique event. Dr. Singer had been planning the show and Daisosho’s visit for five years, in celebration of LACMA’s 50th anniversary. He went to Japan to personally request from Daisosho the loan of ‘Tarobo’ by Chojiro I (?~1589). Another temae demonstrating usucha thin tea was given for three guests. The shokyaku was Christy Soei Bartlett, Director, Urasenke Foundation San Francisco.

After this wondrous program, I chatted briefly with Raku Atsundo, who is now closely studying the pottery of his 16th century ancestor, Chojiro I. How lucky he is!

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The Way of Tea in L.A.

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Soke News

Daisosho 88th Birthday Message

Dr. Genshitsu Sen - DaisoshoSalutations,

The cherry blossoms have bloomed, and combined with the green of the weeping willows, the world has turned into the spring scene of “hana wa kurenai, yanagi wa midori” – literally, “the flowers are pink and the willows are green.”

The recent, unprecedented huge earthquake, and the triple blow from also being struck by the tsunami and nuclear plant disaster, have caused Japan to once again be in distress in all sorts of ways. It is a mournful situation, and I sincerely pray for the repose of the souls of the victims whose lives were lost. I am determined to do what meager bit I carry to be of some slight help in the surviving people’s quick recovery.

Amid such a situation my thoughts about my own petty Beiju (88th) birthday vanished somewhere, and I feel so anguished about the disaster that celebrating my birthday is unthinkable. This notwithstanding, however, I thank you for your message of congratulations straightaway, for my Beiju. I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude for your kind thoughts and gesture.

Once things settle down and the world at large becomes more peaceful, I would like to directly express my gratitude to you. For the time being, this is a quick, brief message of thanks. Though the season now is pleasant I hope you will still be careful of your health.

Sincerely,
Genshitsu Sen
Former Urasenke Iemoto
April 2011

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Alumni News News

Midorikai 40th Anniversary Reunion July 18-19, 2010

Daisosho and Alumni at Sheraton Waikiki Dinner 7/21/10
Daisosho greets Alumni at Sheraton Waikiki Dinner 7/21/10

 

Midorikai Alumni Reunion Group Picture - 7/21/2010
Midorikai Alumni Reunion Group Picture – 7/21/2010