SEN Soshitsu XVI Hosts Welcoming Chakai
for Prime Minister Coelho of Portugal

On March 26, 2015, the first day of his three-day official working visit to Japan, Prime Minister Pedro Passos COELHO of the Portuguese Republic was in Kyoto, and was the guest of honor at a welcoming chakai (tea gathering) hosted by Iemoto SEN Soshitsu XVI, Zabosai, at the Kyoto State Guest House. For this welcoming chakai, Iemoto Zabosai was assisted by SEN Makiko, his daughter, who was among his family members who had accompanied him to Portugal in 2010 to conduct chado presentations on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace, Amity, and Commerce between Japan and Portugal.
      The room used for the chakai was the spacious, all-purpose Yubae-no-ma, and so the chakai was in the ryurei-style, which employs tables and chairs. In order to conduct the temae (tea-making procedure), Zabosai employed the square version of the Washin-dana, a three piece tea-making table set, which he personally had taken part in designing. The water jar was an item that he had brought back from his trip to Portugal and had a lacquered lid order made to fit. The confections which were served were selected by SEN Makiko, and included konpeito (Portuguese: confeito) - a popular sugar candy in Japan which was introduced by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. Makiko used a small hand-painted ceramic cup from Portugal to hold them in when she brought them to the Prime Minister.

      Ambassador Francisco Xavier ESTEVES of the Embassy of Portugal in Tokyo sat in the seat beside Prime Minister Coelho, as second guest, and the other guests included a number of important officials in the Portuguese government, as well as the Ambassador of Japan to Portugal, AZUMA Hiroshi. When the tea-drinking was over, Prime Minister Coelho came up and sat on the host's stool at the Washin-dana to take a close look at the items. He asked Zabosai many keen questions about chado, and the two exchanged warm conversation for quite a while.