Meiji Shrine Centennial Celebration Urasenke Kencha-shiki
Announcing Confirmation of Urasenke Wakasosho,
and Wakasosho Debut Chakai
On October 13 (Tue), 2020, at Meiji Shrine in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, a kencha-shiki tea dedication ceremony was conducted by Urasenke celebrating the shrine’s centennial and announcing the confirmation of the Urasenke wakasosho, or heir-to-be.
As with the announcement kencha-shiki which had taken place in Kyoto, Princess Akiko of Mikasa was in attendance. The other participants included, first of all, Daisosho SEN Genshitsu, as well as Iemoto SEN Soshitsu and Mrs. Sen, together with relatives and members of the Urasenke Foundation board of elders (robun), and Urasenke Foundation/Urasenke Tankokai Federation officers, distinguished masters (meiyo shihan), and other such people from eastern Japan, for a total of approximately 240 attendees.
The scale of the event was greatly reduced from the original plan, with temperature checks, hand sanitizing, and social distancing measures in place, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At 9:30 A.M., the austere sound of the drum announcing the ceremony’s commencement reverberated through the prayer hall. Led by the chief shrine priest, everyone stood, made a bow in unison, and kept their heads low as the priest recited a Shinto prayer. Then, after confections were offered, Wakasosho proceeded to the tea-making place and prepared an offering of koicha and an offering of usucha. These were offered up to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Dowager Soken (Empress of Emperor Meiji), respectively ― the deified spirits to which Meiji Shrine is dedicated ― and it was reported to them about Wakasosho’s confirmation. Next, Iemoto and Daisosho and Wakasosho each made offerings of a branch of the sacred tree (tamakushi). Led by the chief shrine priest, once again everyone stood and made a bow in unison. The drum resounded again, and the ceremony successfully came to a close.
The debut chakai for Wakasosho’s confirmation consisted in five separate tea venues (seki), respectively hosted by Konnichian, the Robun (Urasenke elders), the Gyoteibu (Konnichian corps of deputy tea masters), the Kanto Region 1 members, and the Tankokai Youth Division National Committee.
|◇The Konnichian venue (Torinso)|
|◇The Robun venue (Kyakuden)|
|◇The Gyoteibu venue (Kaguraden)|
|◇The Kanto Region I venue (Forest Terrace Keyaki-no-ma))|
|◇The Tankokai Youth Division National Committee venue (Forest Terrace Kusunoki-no-ma)|