45th Urasenke Hawaii Seminar

The 45th Urasenke Hawaii Seminar took place in Hawaii from July 18 to 26, 2017, with Daisosho Genshitsu SEN in attendance and Advisor Kishichiro AMAE of the Urasenke Tankokai Federation serving as group leader. The participants consisted of 110 Urasenke chado practitioners and supporters from various parts of Japan, plus eleven invited students who have been engaged in the chado program offered by Urasenke at their college or high school in Japan.

The history of this annual Urasenke seminar in Hawaii begins in 1972, when Daisosho, who at that time was Iemoto, donated a tea house named "Jakuan" and a garden setting for it named "Seien" to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The seminar gives participants an opportunity to hear lectures by Daisosho and other professors associated with the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center, and also to enjoy the chado hospitality of the local Urasenke chado community. This year, the program included participation in events celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association, on the Big Island.

Inaugural Meeting (July 18)
The participants flew in to Honolulu in two groups, both of which landed there before noon on July 18, and were transported directly to the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, for an inaugural meeting and luncheon. The meeting began with a welcoming speech by Daisosho and words of introduction by Group Leader Amae.

Group Leader Kishichiro AMAE The invited school students

Friendship Exchange Chakai and Luncheon (July 19)
The seminar participants were invited by the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association (UTHA) to a friendship exchange chakai (tea gathering) and luncheon the next day, July 19, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, where an Urasenke-donated tea house named "Seikoan" is located. The Seikoan was the venue for koicha (matcha of thick consistency), while the lounge room was the venue for usucha (matcha of relatively thin consistency).

The koicha venue The usucha venue

In the waiting room, a DVD highlighting Daisosho's activities in Hawaii through the years was showing, and there also was an exhibition of wagashi confections created by the UTHA members and designed to represent the twelve months of the year in Hawaii.

At the opening of the luncheon, UTHA Vice President Ruth ONO presented a greeting speech, and a responding greeting speech was given by a special participant of this time's seminar, Tsuyoshi YAMAGUCHI, who is a member of the Japanese House of Representatives and serves as Vice President of the Urasenke Tankokai West Harima Chapter, Japan.


Daisosho converses with the invited school students

Seminar Program at the University of Hawaii, First Day (July 20)
The first lecture of the seminar program at the University of Hawaii was by Daisosho, and the second lecture was by Director Lonny CARLILE of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University.

Lecture by Daisosho Lecture by Lonny CARLILE

These lectures ended by noon, and the seminar participants were then free to have lunch at the university's cafeteria, after which they could participate as guests at a friendship exchange chakai hosted by the university's current and former chado club members. The current club members were the hosts at the Jakuan tea house, and the former club members provided the hospitality at the East-West Center. At both venues, the use of articles unique to Hawaii added an especially enjoyable touch.

At the Jakuan tea house At the East-West Center

That evening, the seminar participants joined with other guests of Daisosho at a banquet held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. There were approximately 280 guests in all, including Consul General and Mrs. Yasushi MISAWA of the Consulate General of Japan in Hawaii, Maui Mayor and Mrs. Alan ARAKAWA, Former Hawaii Governor and Mrs. John WAIHEE, and the former Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives, Joseph SOUKI, together with his wife.

Consul General Misawa raises the toast Hawaiian musical entertainment

Seminar Program at the University of Hawaii, Second Day (July 21)
The current head of the Ohi pottery kiln of Kanazawa, Japan, had been scheduled to present a lecture this day, but unavoidable circumstances prevented the realization of this. Daisosho therefore also gave the first lecture this day, and the second lecture was by President Richard VUYLSTEKE of the East-West Center, who spoke about the future direction for the East-West Center.

Second Day lecture by Daisosho A captivated audience

Lecture by Richard VUYLSTEKE

After this day's lectures, each attendee received a seminar completion certificate from Daisosho, and similar certificates from the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center.

Commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association (July 22)
The seminar group made a one-day visit to the Big Island on July 22, to participate with Daisosho in events celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association.
The first of the events, which began at 9:30 in the morning, was a ritual tea offering performed by Daisosho at the Hilo Daijingu Shrine.

After that, there was a luncheon party at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, hosted by the Urasenke Tankokai Hilo Association. The guests at this included not only Daisosho and the seminar group from Japan, but also such notable figures as Trustee Thomas KAULUKUKUI, Jr. of the Liliuokalani Trust, Consul General and Mrs. Yasushi MISAWA, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil OKABE with his wife, and Hawaii County Council Chairwoman Valerie POINDEXTER, among others. Daisosho presented the Association with commemorative gifts, and everyone raised a toast celebrating the Association's 45th anniversary.

Also, everyone was pleased when the County of Hawaii presented Daisosho and the Tankokai Hilo Association with certificates of recognition.

Following the luncheon party, there was a friendship chakai at the Shoroan tea house which stands in the Liliuokalani Gardens adjacent to the hotel.

Before the chakai began, there was a special tea offering service in memory of Queen Liliokalani. and a tree planting ceremony in commemoration of the Centennial of the Liliokalani Gardens. Daisosho performed the tea offering service and participated in the tree planting. The others who took part in these were the special figures who had attended the luncheon, the Queen's family descendants Keawe and Kaimi KEOHOKALOLE, and officers of the Mamalaahoa Chapter of the Royal Order of Kamehameha the First.

The tea offering service The tree planting ceremony

July 23 and 24, having returned to Honolulu, the seminar group members could drop by at the Hanyoan tea room within the Urasenke Hawaii Branch quarters, where they could enjoy the chado hospitality of UTHA members.

Those who had come on the seven-day plan returned to Japan on July 23, while those on the nine-day plan were able to attend the traditional Urasenke Hawaii Seminar "Sayonara Party" which was held at The Breakers the evening of July 24.

At the Sayonara Party, there was the customary raffle in which the lucky winners each won a shikishi board featuring a felicitous Zen phrase or saying rendered in calligraphy by Daisosho.