30th Urasenke Hawaii Seminar
30th Anniversary of the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association
Honolulu, Hawaii
The Urasenke Hawaii Seminar is an annual summer program that was initiated in 1972, on the occasion of the grand opening of the Jakuan tea house and garden donated by Urasenke Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV to the East-West Center, on the Manoa campus of the University of Hawaii (UH). In 1972, Hawaii also acquired another tea house donated by the Grand Master, the Shoroan in Hilo, and the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association (then called Urasenke Hilo Chapter) was inaugurated. All of these reached their 30th anniversary in 2002.
   The official schedule for the 93 seminar registrants from Japan began on July 18, when their flights brought them in to Honolulu. The next morning, they were guests of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association at a friendship tea gathering held at the Japanese Cultural Center, site of the Seikoan tearooms, and in the evening, a welcome dinner at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.

Tea gathering in the Seikoan tea house at the Honolulu Japanese Cultural Center. Sitting as head guest is Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV.

   From the afternoon of July 19, a three-day commemorative symposium on the theme "Tea in Japanese Culture" got underway at Architect Auditorium at the UH Manoa campus. It began with a keynote speech by Grand Master Sen. The participating scholars, and titles of their papers, were as follows (in the order of their presentations):

TAKEUCHI Jun'ichi, Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, "The Proper Use of Fine Tea
      Utensils in the Age of Rikyu"
Janet IKEDA, Washington and Lee University, "The Tradition of Naming in Chanoyu"
William LaFLEUR, University of Pennsylvania, "Saigyo and His Times: Tumult and Tranquility"
PARK Jeon-Yull, Chuang-Ang University, "The Appearance of the Professional Tea Master and the
      Nampo Roku"
SHIRAHATA Yozaburo, International Research Center for Japanese Studies, "The Gardens of Early Edo
      and the Tea Ceremony"
Thomas RIMER, University of Pittsburgh, "After the Fact: Three Artistic Views of Rikyu in the
      Twentieth Century - Inoue Yasushi, Nogami Yaeko, and Teshigahara Hiroshi"
Paul VARLEY, University of Hawaii, "Tea in the Meiji Restoration"
KURASAWA Yukihiro, Takarazuka University of Art and Design, "The Culture of Naturalism"

SEN Soshitsu XV presents keynote speech at the "Tea in Japanese Culture" symposium
held at the University of Hawaii.

      The seminar registrants audited the symposium on July 20 and in the morning of July 21, and were among the 200 guests at a commemorative banquet hosted by the Grand Master at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in the evening of the 21st.

      From early next morning, there was an optional tour to the Big Island, for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association. The first event here was the Grand Master's ritual tea offering (kencha) at the Hilo Honganji Betsuin, in memory of the Japanese pioneer immigrants to the Hawaiian islands. After this, the Hilo Association members hosted a commemorative tea gathering at the Shoroan, which is located in Liliokalani Park, and in the evening, a 30th Anniversary celebration dinner at the Kona Mauna Lani Bay Hotel Ballroom.

SEN Soshitsu XV makes tea offering at
Hilo Honganji Betsuin.
Commemorative tea gathering at the Shoroan
Tea house.

      Besides the above visit to the Big Island, there was an optional tour to Maui, where, on July 24, the Urasenke Tankokai Maui Association hosted a friendship tea gathering. Or, those who chose could attend the 10th Anniversary tea gathering of the Yushinkai chado sorority, held at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu on July 24.
      Per annual custom, a festive Sayonara Party was held the final evening, July 25. Approximately 150 people participated in this entertainment-filled social that took place at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.

Yushinkai 10th Anniversary tea gathering at the Bishop Museum, Honolulu.