SEN Masako and Takafumi Welcome Zimbabwe's President MUGABE
and First Lady Mugabe to Kyoto

President Robert Gabriel MUGABE made an official working visit to Japan March 27-31, 2016, together with his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe. Having completed an intense schedule of meetings and engagements in Tokyo, the presidential couple came to Japan's cultural capital, Kyoto, from the afternoon on March 30, and took part in a program at the Kyoto State Guest House which was hosted by the Kyoto Prefectural Government and Kyoto Chamber of Commerce. Upon their arrival at the Guest House, they were shown to the Yubae-no-ma room, where SEN Masako, wife of Urasenke Iemoto SEN Soshitsu XVI, and son Takafumi held a welcoming tea gathering for the presidential couple.

Takafumi conducted the ryurei-style temae (tea-making), making use of a Chishin-dana tea-making table. He made a bowl of usucha tea for the President and the First Lady, and Mrs. Sen brought the tea to them. Takafumi also offered explanations about the articles which were being used for the Tea this day, and other aspects of the Japanese Way of Tea. It was the ninety-two-year-old president's first time to drink matcha, and when asked his opinion of it, he said that it was a bit bitter, but tasty. Takafumi explained that the bit of bitterness is due to the fact that matcha contains many healthful substances and is full of vitamins. The presidential couple expressed interest in the tea and the various implements used, and upon the closing of the temae, they left the room smiling and refreshed.