Greetings from Iemoto SEN Soshitsu XVI

Sen Soshitu

The 20th century will go down in history as having been a century of war, as well as a century of momentous scientific developments. I believe that the 21st century should be made into a century distinguished by mankind's care for the global environment, as well as by the importance people place on culture.
     Thanks to the advancements in the internet, nowadays we are able to learn about events around the globe in a matter of seconds, and we have instantaneous access to all kinds of information and services. I believe, however, that while modern society has primarily been pursuing the benefits of expedience and convenience, human relationships have weakened. Our immediate task in building the 21st century is to recover the attitude of sympathetic consideration for others, and simultaneously, the attitude of appreciation for the consideration we receive from others. These attitudes were fostered by people of former ages in Japan and are an integral part of the traditional spiritual culture of the Japanese, which can well be said to be represented by chado, the Japanese Way of Tea.
     The Urasenke Homepage contains a wealth of information for those who seek knowledge about the various aspects of chado. I sincerely hope that each visitor will find something of value in this internet site, and that the ethos of chado, the value it places on pure-hearted interchange between fellow human beings, is conveyed.


SEN Soshitsu XVI, Zabosai, was born in Kyoto on June 7, 1956, as the first-born son of SEN Soshitsu XV, Hounsai. The name he was given at birth is Masayuki. He is a graduate of the Department of Letters at Doshisha University, located in Kyoto. In 1982, on his twenty-sixth birthday, he was ordained as a Buddhist clergyman by Zen master NAKAMURA Sojun, chief abbot and master at the monks' training hall of Daitokuji temple, and received from him the Buddhist name Zabosai. On October 28th of that year, he was confirmed as heir apparent (wakasosho) of the Urasenke grand master (iemoto). Later, he undertook training under Zen master MORINAGA Soko of Myoshinji temple, and he has now become the resident abbot of Kyoshin'an, a temple of the Myoshinji branch of the Rinzai Zen sect. He officially succeeded his father as lord of the Konnichian estate, and became the 16th-generation grand master of the Urasenke chado tradition, on the 22nd of December, 2002. As the Urasenke grand master, he acquired the hereditary name Soshitsu.
     Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XVI exercises authority within the Urasenke organization as chairman of the Urasenke Foundation (Ippan Zaidan Hojin Konnichian), chairman of the Urasenke Tankokai Federation (Ippan Shadan Hojin Chado Urasenke Tankokai), and president of the Urasenke Gakuen Professional College of Chado (Urasenke Gakuen Chado Senmon Gakko). Through his roles in these posts, he is striving to nurture able chado followers and teachers. In the field of education, he also holds a professorial post at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, teaching in the Department of Historical Heritage, and is a visiting colleague at Nankai University and Beijing Foreign Studies University, China. Among his various other current positions outside the Urasenke organization, he is a trustee of the Japan Society for Psychological Research on Emotion, and a trustee of the Kyoto Prefectural International Center.
     His personal enjoyments include writing, and several book-length literary works of his have been published. He is married and has three children.

Greetings from SEN Genshitsu (Soshitsu XV)

Sen Genshitu

Chado, or the Way of Tea, is a comprehensive cultural practice that embraces the arts, religion, philosophy, social life — virtually every aspect of life. A practice such as this is truly rare. The ideals underlying the Way of Tea are known in Japanese as Wa, Kei, Sei, Jaku. In English, these are Harmony, Respect, Purity, and Tranquility. Over the past sixty years, I have personally sought to impart the spirit of this Way to people worldwide, expressing my goal through the phrase, "Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea." I sincerely hope that, through this Urasenke Konnichian web site, knowledge of chado will reach far and wide around the globe, and its ideals might further contribute to the attainment of genuine World Peace and Happiness, the mutual goal of all humanity.


SEN Genshitsu was Urasenke iemoto for thirty-eight years, up to the end of 2002, when he transferred the iemoto position and the hereditary name Soshitsu that goes with it to his elder son, Zabosai. At that time, he changed his own name from Soshitsu to Genshitsu, and he became referred to by the title Daisosho, signifying his status as the once grand master.
           He was born in Kyoto on April 19, 1923, as the first son of the 14th-generation Urasenke iemoto, Mugensai. His given name was Masaoki. After serving in the airforce division of the Japanese navy during WWII, and then completing his temporarily interrupted university education at Doshisha University, Kyoto, graduating from the Faculty of Economics, he took Buddhist vows under GOTO Zuigan, chief abbot of Daitokuji temple, and received the Buddhist names Hounsai Genshu Soko. In 1950, he was confirmed as heir apparent of Mugensai, and thus became referred to by the title Wakasosho. He made his first trip abroad that year, to Hawaii and the USA, and since then he has made more than three hundred trips abroad and been to more than sixty countries. He lived in Hawaii in 1952, during which time he lectured at and also took courses at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, beginning his long and dedicated association with that university. In 1953, soon after the Urasenke membership organization, Tankokai, was authorized as a non-profit legal body, he became its president. Upon Mugensai's death in 1964, he succeeded as the 15th-generation Urasenke iemoto, Hounsai. He holds a Ph.D. from Nankai University, China, awarded to him in 1991 for his successful defense of his thesis concerning the influence of the Cha Jing, by Lu Yu (8th c.), on the development of Japan's chado culture, and a Litt.D. from Chung-Ang University, Korea, awarded to him in 2008.
          Among his many international contributions in the field of academics, he endowed the Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Professorship of Traditional Japanese History and Culture as well as the Dr. Soshitsu Sen International Way of Tea Center within the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawaii, and the Soshitsu Sen XV Distinguished Lectures on Japanese Culture at the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University, New York.
           He is Honorary Consul of Peru in Kyoto, and in the past, served as Honorary Consul of Portugal in Kyoto (1969-1982) and Honorary Consul-General of Italy in Kyoto (1982-93). He has been a dynamic member of the Rotary International, formerly serving as R.I. Director (1988-90) and Rotary Foundation Trustee (1998-2002). He is widely known as a global-minded promoter both of the culture embraced by the Way of Tea and of World Peace. Among his many awards and recognitions, in 1997, he was awarded the Order of Culture by the Emperor of Japan; and in 2020, the French government awarded him with the Ordre National de la L├ęgion d'honneur, rank of Commandeur.
          Currently, within the Urasenke organization, he is President of the Urasenke Tankokai Federation, and President of the Junior College of the Urasenke Way of Tea at the Tianjin University of Commerce. Among his many positions outside the Urasenke organization, he is Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan (appointed April 2017), UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (appointment by UNESCO, March 2012), and Japan-U.N. Goodwill Ambassador (Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 2005), as well as Chairman of the Rotary Japan Foundation, President of the United Nations Association of Japan, President of the Kyoto City International Foundation, Director of the Kyoto Municipal General Center for Lifelong Learning, and President of the Japan Equestrian Federation.