SEN Genshitsu Meets with WU Bangguo in China

Dr. SEN (Soshitsu XV, Hounsai) Genshitsu, with entourage including Urasenke elder (robun) HARADA Osamu (president, Chado Urasenke Tankokai Shanghai Association), Chado Urasenke Tankokai Inc. NPO executive director SEKINE Hideji, Konnichian deputy tea master (gyotei ) IZUMIMOTO Soyu, and others made a trip to Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai from March 16 through 21, 2005. Dr. Sen had a full schedule, carrying out various activities as an ambassador of Tea and goodwill.
       Landing at Beijing Airport, the party was met by staff of the Chinese Department of Culture, and Dr. Sen went straight away to pay Vice Chief MENG Xiaosi of that department a courtesy call. The two agreed that the exchange of ideas between cultural leaders of China and Japan will deepen the two nations' relationship, and Dr. Sen said he wanted to seek out how, through such exchange, a new culture shared by the two countries can come to bloom.
       March 17, in the morning Dr. Sen called on Director CHEN Lihua of the National Zitan Museum, to enlist her further cooperation in introducing chado to the Chinese people. From 2:00 P.M., he presented a lecture before a packed house at the Japan Foundation Beijing Office auditorium. It was entitled "Chado and International Cultural Exchange." This was followed by a chanoyu demonstration by the members of the Konnichian deputy tea master department and the Urasenke teaching staff stationed in China.
       March 18, at the Great Hall of the People, Dr. Sen met with WU Bangguo, who is Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The meeting began with Dr. Sen preparing a bowl of matcha for Chairman Wu. In their discussion, they agreed that mutual understanding in the fields of philosophy and art will support their two nations' friendship. Chairman WU stated that he felt honored to have drunk the tea that day, and that he felt it held great significance.