Daisosho SEN Genshitsu Welcomes
Singaporean President Tony TAN Keng Yam and Wife to Konnichian

On December 3, 2016, His Excellency Dr. Tony TAN Keng Yam, President of Singapore, accompanied by his wife, Mary TAN, came to Urasenke Konnichian for a chakai (tea gathering) hosted by Daisosho SEN Genshitsu. President Tan was on his first official state visit to Japan, organized in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan. This visit to Konnichian was personally requested by Dr. and Mrs. Tan, who had met Daisosho a few months earlier during the visit of Daisosho to Singapore to hold events commemorating the 50 year anniversary of Singapore-Japan relations. On that occasion, Daisosho provided tea service to President Tan, his wife, and other specially invited guests in the President's official residence.

Daisosho warmly welcomed the presidential couple upon their arrival at Konnichian, first personally providing an explanation of implements used within temae (tea-making procedures) that were on display for this visit, and of the process involved in making matcha tea. Dr. and Mrs. Tan were very interested in the explanation, and even tried using the stone mill set out for them to create a small amount of matcha. They then proceeded to the Chofu-no-ma room of the Heisei Chashitsu, where Daisosho conducted temae and made conversation.

After President Tan finished drinking his bowl of usucha (matcha of relatively thin consistency), he in turn whisked a bowl of usucha for Daisosho. The presidential couple had a pleasant visit, and Dr. Tan later wrote of the experience: "This morning, I was delighted to witness the Japanese tea ceremony by Dr Genshitsu Sen, the 15th Grand Master of the Urasenke Tea School… I am glad to be able to savour his ocha again, this time in the perfect atmosphere of Harmony, Reverence, Purity and Tranquility within the beautiful compounds of the Urasenke Konnichian."

Related articles:
SEN Genshitsu in Singapore (April, 2016)

Singapore President S. R. Nathan Visits Daisosho for Tea at Konnichian (2009)