Memorial for 300th Anniversary of the Death of Fukyusai Joso Soshitsu

On May 14, 2003, a memorial service and memorial tea gatherings were held at Daitokuji temple, Kyoto, for the 300th anniversary of the death of the 5th generation Urasenke iemoto, Fukyusai Joso Soshitsu (1673-1704).
          Fukyusai Joso Soshitsu was the son and heir of the 4th generation in the family, Senso Soshitsu, who was chanoyu magistrate for the lord of the Kaga (Kanazawa) domain. He was born in Kanazawa when his father was fifty-two years old, and inherited from his father the position of chanoyu magistrate for the Kaga lord when he was still quite young (ca. 1688). He later also became chanoyu magistrate for the lord of the Iyo Matsuyama domain. Although he died at the young age of thirty-two (14th day, 5th month, 1704), he left behind quite a large number of tea utensils that he had designed. Many of them are vermilion colored, reflecting the colorful Genroku era in which he lived. When he adopted the name Soshitsu from his father upon the latter's death, he effectively initiated the custom for the family head (iemoto) to acquire this name upon succession as iemoto. Thus, in many ways he left an impressive mark in the family history.
          The 300th Anniversary memorial service for him took place at the family temple, Jukoin, within the compound of Daitokuji. It began at 9:30 A.M. Approximately 200 people attended, including Hounsai SEN Genshitsu, SEN Masako, IZUMI Hiromi and other family members, and various officials and representatives of the Urasenke organization. First, Zabosai Iemoto prepared two tea offerings; one to the spirit of SEN Rikyu, and the other to Fukyusai Joso Soshitsu. Then, as the abbot and other priests chanted sutras, the attendees in turn burned incense and offered prayers at the altar. Afterwards, they also offered prayers at Fukyusai Joso Soshitsu's tomb in the cemetary at Jukoin.

Zabosai Iemoto prepares tea offerings.       Zabosai Iemoto, with Hounsai
      by his side, expresses thanks
      to the attendees.

          Throughout the day, memorial tea gatherings were held at four different venues within the Daitokuji compound. They were respectively hosted by Konnichian, the Konnichian deputy tea masters (gyotei), the four Tankokai chapters in Kyoto, and the Midorikai class of foreign students studying at the Urasenke Gakuen. Approximately 600 Urasenke followers participated in these, and also came to view the special exhibition of calligraphic scrolls and other objects related to Fukyusai Joso Soshitsu that was showing at the Chado Research Center galleries, which could be accessed this day by shuttle bus from Daitokuji.

   Konnichian's koicha tea, at Daitokuji
   Konnichian deputy tea masters' tea, at
   Daitokuji Sangen'in.

   Kyoto Tankokai chapters' tea, at
   Daitokuji Tokuzenji.
   Midorikai's tea, at Daitokuji Obaiin.