Zabosai SEN Soshitsu XVI and Family Entertain USA Ambassador Caroline KENNEDY and Family at Konnichian

Ambassador Caroline KENNEDY and her family were in Kyoto on December 26, 2013, and were guests of Urasenke Iemoto Zabosai SEN Soshitsu XVI and family at Konnichian that evening. H.E. had just recently arrived in Japan (Nov 15) to take up her position as USA Ambassador to Japan. She expressed that she had been eager to visit the Grand Master (Iemoto) in Kyoto since her 'tea ceremony' experience at the reception held for her by Japan's Ambassador to the USA at his official residence in Washington D.C. the evening of her swearing-in ceremony as Ambassador to Japan. On that occasion, the chanoyu hospitality was by Urasenke Konnichian Deputy Tea Master IZUMIMOTO Sogen and Urasenke San Francisco Branch Director Christy Soei BARTLETT, who had been sent by Iemoto Zabosai.

     At Konnichian, the Ambassador and her family were shown into the Chofu-no-ma within the Heisei Chashitsu, in which individual tables and chairs had been arranged for their seating. Iemoto Zabosai welcomed them, and before he personally conducted the temae to make tea for them, he had Urasenke's heirloom tea jar brought in, removed some of the extra high quality leaf tea which it contained, and showed his guests how the leaves are ground using a stone mill to make the green tea powder (matcha). Then, he carried in the equipment for laying the charcoal in the hearth built into the floor, and did sumidemae to build the charcoal fire to heat the water for the tea. His wife, SEN Masako, son Takafumi, daughter Makiko, and nephew IZUMI Koichiro helped to convey the sweets and tea to Ambassador Kennedy and her husband and their three children.
     As the tea entertainments were coming to an end, Iemoto Zabosai's father, Daisosho SEN Genshitsu (Hounsai Sen Soshitsu XV), came into the room to express his greetings, as he had been away on business when the Ambassador and her family arrived.

     Before departing, the Ambassador presented Iemoto and family with a copy of the 2008 Japanese translation of the book Profiles in Courage written in 1955 by her father, John. F. KENNEDY.