Iemoto Hosts Chakai for Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav SOBOTKA

The evening of June 29, 2017, Iemoto SEN Soshitsu XVI was at the Kyoto State Guest House to host a welcoming tea gathering for Prime Minister Bohuslav SOBOTKA of the Czech Republic, who was in Japan on a four-day official working visit. It was Prime Minister Sobotka's first visit to Japan and first time to experience Japan's chado culture.

The tea gathering took place in the large all-purpose room named Yubae-no-ma. When Prime Minister Sobotka and entourage arrived, Iemoto shook hands with the Prime Minister and expressed his greetings (top photo). The members of the entourage from the Czech Republic included Minister Jiri HAVLICEK of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Minister Daniel Herman and Deputy Minister Patrik KOSICKY of the Ministry of Culture, Parliament member Jan BIRKE, Deputy Minister Vaclav KOLAJA of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister Tomas KUCHTA of the Ministry of Defense, Director Ondrej BOCKAY of the Protocol and Foreign Affairs department of the office of the Prime Minister, and Ambassador Tomas DUB of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Japan. Ambassador YAMASAKI Kaoru of the Embassy of Japan in the Czech Republic was also present.

The Prime Minister showed that he was fascinated by the tea-making and what Iemoto had to say. He seemed particularly impressed that Japan's chado culture has come down through four centuries to the present.

When the tea-drinking and everything was completed, Iemoto invited the Prime Minister to come up to the Misonodana tea-making table to view the articles. The kettle was removed, revealing the burning charcoal, and the charcoal equipment was placed out for the Prime Minister and others to view.