44th Urasenke Hawaii Seminar

From July 18 to 24, 2016, the annual summer Urasenke Hawaii Seminar took place for the 44th time, with Urasenke Daisosho SEN Genshitsu in attendance. Urasenke Tankokai Federation Advisor AMAE Kishichiro was the group leader for the seventy-two-member party of participants from Japan, including eight invited high school and college students specially selected for their dedicated involvement in their school's chado program. The group flew to Honolulu as two separate smaller groups depending upon geographical convenience, one leaving from Tokyo's Narita Airport and the other from Osaka's Kansai International Airport.

Directly upon their planes' arrival in Honolulu on July 18, they headed for the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, to join together for an inaugural meeting. Daisosho was already waiting there, to greet each of the participants. He gave a welcoming speech, and then group leader Amae gave an inaugural speech. Following this, the participants were able to familiarize themselves with each other as they had lunch together.

Daisosho SEN Genshitsu welcoming each attendee Seminar group leader AMAE Kishichiro.

The next morning, members of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association held a friendship exchange tea gathering for them at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, which is home to the Seikoan tea room and garden, located on the building's top floor. There was koicha (matcha of thick consistency) service in the Seikoan, and in the lounge room, there was ryurei-style usucha (matcha of relatively thin consistency) service at which the tea-making made use of a plain wood, unlacquered Misonodana tea-making table.
Roji garden outside the Seikoan

Daisosho with Mr. and Mrs. Amae at the Seikoan Daisosho at the ryurei-style venue

After the tea gathering, the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association hosted a welcoming luncheon for them, at which former Hawaii governor George ARIYOSHI, who is President of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association, gave a welcoming speech.

Welcoming speech by George ARIYOSHI Daisosho chats with the school students from Japan

July 20 was the first day of the core seminar program, held as an international program of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Outreach College. The venue was the Hawaii Imin Conference Center located on the campus. The first lecture on this day was by Daisosho, and the second lecture was by Professor Dennis OGAWA, who teaches in the Department of American Studies within the university's College of Arts and Humanities. His talk focused on the parent-child relationships among early Japanese-Americans in Hawaii.

Daisosho presents the first lecture Professor Dennis OGAWA presents lecture

Following this, the seminar participants could have lunch in the university's student cafeteria, and after this, go to the Jakuan tea house and East-West Center, between which lies the Seien garden, on the campus, to be served usucha by the university's chado club students and alumni members of the club.

Jakuan tea house on the hillock above the Seien garden

Daisosho, with his neice SAKURAI Yukiko and her
husband, as guests at the Jakuan
Scene at the East-West Center ryurei-style venue

That evening, Daisosho hosted a banquet at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, at which there were approximately 260 attendees, including the seminar group from Japan. The special local guests included former Hawaii State first lady, Mrs. Jean ARIYOSHI; Hawaii's incumbent first lady, Mrs. Dawn AMANO-IGE; Hawaii's former governor and first lady, Mr. and Mrs. John WAIHEE; Hawaii's incumbent mayor and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Kirk CALDWELL; Admiral Thomas FARGO, former commander of the US Pacific Command; the president of the University of Hawaii System, Dr. David LASSNER; and the chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dr. Robert BLEY-VROMAN. Also, Consul General Yasushi MISAWA of the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu was present, and he offered the opening toast.

Consul General Yasushi MISAWA offers a toast Festive Hawaiian entertainment

July 21, the second day of the core seminar program began with two chanoyu demonstrations. The first was of the shichijishiki exercise "ichi-ni-san-no-shiki," performed by members of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association. The second was of the shichijishiki exercise "koicha-tsuki-kagetsu," performed by volunteers from the seminar group from Japan. After this, the final lecture was by Professor Deane NEUBAUER of the East-West Center, who is co-director of the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership.

The shichijishiki demonstration by the volunteers Professor Deane NEUBAUER presents lecture

Each of the seminar attendees then received a seminar completion certificate from Daisosho, and similar certificates from the University of Hawaii and East-West Center.

While those of the seminar group who came on the short 6-day course caught their return flight on July 22, bringing them back to Japan on July 23, those on the full 8-day course could spend time on the 22nd and 23rd at the Han'yoan tea house of the Urasenke Hawaii Branch, situated next door to the Breakers Hotel, where they were staying. At the Han'yoan, they could enjoy the chanoyu hospitality of members of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association. Some members of the seminar group from Japan joined with the local members in preparing and serving tea to those who came by, which made for a feeling of warm comradery.

Scene at the Urasenke Hawaii Branch's Han'yoan tea room

In the evening of the 23rd the Urasenke Hawaii Seminar's traditional Sayonara Party took place by the poolside at the Breakers Hotel. Due to a typhoon, everything was held under the tent which had been set up for the party, rather than in the open air. All the attendees, nonetheless, appeared very joyful. During the seminar, a collection was taken to provide support for the victims of the earthquake disasters which have occurred recently in Japan. The money collected was placed in the keeping of Urasenke Tankokai Federation Vice-Chairman/Urasenke Office of Management Director General SEKINE Hideji at the Sayonara Party, for him to bring back to Urasenke headquarters in Kyoto.