30th Anniversary of Munich "Kanshoan" Tea House

The "Kanshoan" tea house.
(File photo)
Garden corner at the
"Kanshoan" tea house.
The chanoyu arrangements
at the residence of the
Japanese Consul-General.

On the outskirts of Munich, capital of the State of Bavaria in southern Germany, stands a beautiful tea house named "Kanshoan." It was donated by Urasenke Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV to the State of Bavaria in 1972, the year of the Munich International Olympic Games, to commemorate the Games by establishing an authentic venue where the German people could experience the Japanese Way of Tea. Simultaneously, the Urasenke Tankokai Munich Association (originally called the Urasenke Munich Dokokai) was inaugurated.
   On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Kanshoan this year, 2002, the Grand Master donated materials and the services of a fusuma (sliding door panel) papering expert from Japan to refurbish the tea house. President Wolf-Dieter SCHOOF and others of the Urasenke Tankokai Munich Association helped with the labor, and by the time of the 30th anniversary commemoratory events in May, the Kanshoan was looking fresh and bright.
   To handle the events, Urasenke Headquarters dispatched NAKAJIMA Soki and two assistants from Kyoto, and Urasenke's two official resident instructors in Dusseldorf and Freiburg, as well as the director of the Urasenke Paris Branch. Locally, the Urasenke Tankokai Munich Association volunteered their warm assistance.
   On May 23, the team presented an "introduction to chado" program at Munich University, for the students and faculty of the Japanese Studies Department. The following day, May 24, a commemorative reception was held at the official residence of Japanese Consul-General NAKANE Takeshi, at which the Urasenke team gave a chanoyu demonstration and served sweets and tea to all the guests. The attendees included state officials, Munich University faculty, and other invited guests. Then, on May 25, a commemorative tea gathering for the public was held at the Kanshoan. The turn-out was so large that, despite an extension of the closing time, some visitors unfortunately were unable to gain entrance.
Since the Kanshoan was built and donated by Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV thirty years ago, chado has developed a wide following in Bavaria, and this owes to the thirty long years of devoted activities of the Urasenke Munich group.

Urasenke Konnichian chanoyu master NAKAJIMA Soki gives special seminar for Urasenke Tankokai Munich Association members.
30th Anniversary public tea gathering at the "Kanshoan" tea house.