Sakai City is famous for being the birthplace of Sen-no-Rikyu, known as the father of modern Japanese tea ceremony. Wellington Sakai Association were privileged to be able to hold an event with the Wellington Omote Senke Sado Club at Minoh House in Lower Hutt on 9th May 2015. They demonstrated the tea ceremony for us in the 'omotesenke' style, one of the three styles of tea ceremony. Some helpful NHK videos provided more background, explaining the philosophy behind the tea ceremony which went from previously being a chance to show off your most ostentatious possessions and finery, to being an occasion to celebrate equality, friendship and respect for your guests. We learnt that there is meaning in every little aspect of the tea house, from the bend in the path through the garden conveying a sense of anticipation, to the scroll in the alcove, chosen to reflect the season.
Once we had all enjoyed a ‘wagashi’ traditional Japanese sweet and some green tea prepared for us by the tea club members, we had a chance to try making it for ourselves. This was especially popular with our younger members who took their responsibilities very seriously.
Thank you very much to Minoh House and the Omote Senke Tea Ceremony Club for hosting us. This event was well publicised in local media and we welcome the new members who have found us through this event.