37th Urasenke Hawaii Seminar

Tea offering by Daisosho SEN Genshitsu at the State Capitol

The 2009 Urasenke Hawaii Seminar, which took place over the eight days of July 18-25, counted as the 37th time this Urasenke summer event in Hawaii has been held since it was initiated in 1972. There were eighty-three registrants, consisting of Urasenke chado followers from all parts of Japan. They assembled at the Halekulani Hotel for an inaugural luncheon on July 18, where Daisosho SEN Genshitsu greeted them.
      This year marked the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood, and as an official commemorative event, Daisosho SEN Genshitsu conducted a kencha-shiki (tea offering ceremony) in prayer for world peace at the State Capitol on July 19, and the seminar registrants attended this momentous event. The program began with a patriotic ceremony honoring the USA, Japan, and Hawaii. Then there was an auspicious Hawaiian chant, and a traditional hula dance to the accompaniment of Hawaiian guitar and Japanese koto music. Before the kencha-shiki commenced, Governor Linda LINGLE gave a speech, in which she stated that the spirit of Harmony which chado teaches is a must in Hawaii, where people of many ethnicities coexist. Past Governor (1974-86) George ARIYOSHI was master of ceremonies.

Daisosho and Governor
Linda LINGLE at the State Capitol
Daisosho and Past Governor
George ARIYOSHI at the State Capitol

      Following the kencha-shiki, there was a commemorative luncheon party at Washington Place—the old, historic governor's mansion located across the street from the State Capitol. Mrs. Jean ARIYOSHII, wife of George ARIYOSHI, presented a welcoming speech, and a children's hula dance troupe provided entertainment.

Washington PlaceJean ARIYOSHI delivers a greeting speech
at the luncheon at Washington Place

      July 20 and 21, the seminar study program, held in conjunction with the University of Hawaii Outreach College, took place at the Manoa campus of the university. Daisosho opened the program, and introduced the first lecturer, Fujio MATSUDA, president emeritus of the university. Matsuda spoke about the history and characteristics of the Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, and considered the historical circumstances in Japan, the USA, and Hawaii. While describing some of his own experiences as a nisei (second-generation Japanese immigrant), he explained how Japanese immigrants adapted to Hawaii socially and culturally.

Hawaii University President Emeritus,

Daisosho leads the shichijishiki workshop

      The next session took the form of a practical lesson on two shichijishiki group chanoyu exercises: plain Kagetsu and Kagetsu with koicha. Daisosho provided the explanations. The day's study program ended with this, and the attendees went across town to the Japanese Culture Center in the afternoon, where members of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association hosted a Tea for them.

Tea hosted by the Tankokai Hawaii Association
at the Japanese Culture Center

      The second seminar day at the university, Denny ROY of the East-West Center was the first speaker. He analyzed the evolution of Japan-US post-war relations, and explained some of the many issues which may cause future instability in the two nations' alliance.
       Hula master Frank Kawaikapuokalani HEWETT led the next session, which featured a performance of a Hawaiian chant and hula dance. In his talk, Hewett explained about the Hawaiian people's traditional reverence for water, as water is a basic and precious necessity of life on the islands. This session ended the seminar study program, and after it, each attendee received a certificate of seminar completion.

Denny ROYFrank HEWETTThe attendees receive their certificates

      Following lunch on campus, the attendees went for Tea at the Jakuan tea house and neighboring Jefferson Hall which are located on the campus. Members of the university's chado club and the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association's Seinenbu (Youth Division) were their hosts there. Then, that evening, Daisosho hosted a banquet at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, at which the seminar registrants and many Urasenke friends in Hawaii were gathered. The registrants who came from Japan on the full ten-day tour plan had fun at the Sayonara Garden Party at The Breakers (the official accommodation for the seminar), on their last evening.

Tea at the Jakuan tea house

Ryurei-style tea at Jefferson Hall

Banquet hosted by Daisosho at the Hilton Hawaiian Village