"Tea Artistry of the Urasenke Grand Master"
Exhibition Commemorating the Golden Anniversary of Urasenke Abroad

Honolulu Academy of Arts
July 18 - September 2, 2001

Honolulu Academy of Arts

General Information
Coinciding with the celebrations in Hawaii for the golden anniversary of Urasenke abroad, an exhibition entitled "Tea Artistry of the Urasenke Grand Master" was mounted at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The exhibits consisted of approximately 100 chanoyu implements indicative of the artistic taste and personalities of the Urasenke grand masters of recent generations, centering on the late 14th generation grand master, Tantansai (Mugensai, 1893-1964), and the present, 15th generation grand master, Hounsai (SEN Soshitsu XV). The works - almost all of them owned by the head Sen house - were items which they either had order made, or which they personally made or brushed. Many were created in commemoration of special occasions in their lives. Included were several works created by their wives - the late SEN Kayoko (1897-1980) and SEN Tomiko (1930-1999), respectively - who were familiar figures to the Urasenke community in Hawaii; several works related to the 13th generation grand master, Ennosai (1872-1924); and three works of calligraphy and/or painting by Zabosai SEN Soshi, the future 16th generation in the Urasenke line. Adding to the historical interest, also, were the several scrolls jointly brushed by father and son-and-heir, or even by three such generations in the Urasenke line. Nearly every type of implement used in chanoyu was represented, and the well-balanced displays were arranged thematically rather than by item type, allowing the viewer to imagine how they would actually appear when placed and used in a chanoyu setting.
     Furthermore, at one end of the long, winding exhibition space, there was a corner where visitors could view a videotape introducing the atmosphere of a traditional-style chaji (formal tea get-together), and in another area there was an exhibit case showing the step-by-step process in the manufacture of a natsume (lacquered caddy for powdered tea).
     On August 29, four days before the final day of the exhibition, Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV presented a special commemorative lecture at the Academy. Also, in connection with this, for three consecutive days special classes were sponsored by Urasenke at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. Tea whisk (chasen) maker TANIMURA Tango presented a demonstration and lecture on August 29; Japanese sweets maker OTA Toru of the well-known Kyoto sweets shop Oimatsu presented a demonstration and lecture on August 30; and Konnichian tea master ITO Sokan presented a chado lecture on August 31.

Grand Opening
"Tea Artistry of the Urasenke Grand Master"
Exhibition Commemorating the Golden Anniversary of Urasenke Abroad
Honolulu Academy of Arts   July 17, 2001   5:00-7:00 P.M.

The Grand Opening of the "Tea Artistry of the Urasenke Grand Master" exhibition took place on the eve before the show's public opening. Taking part from Japan as special honored guests were Prince Takamado Norihito and his wife, Princess Hisako. Altogether, there were approximately 300 attendees.
      Upon the imperial couple's arrival at the Academy at 5:30 P.M., Grand Master Sen, HAA Director George ELLIS and Mrs. Ellis, and HAA Chairman of the Board of Trustees Sam COOKE and Mrs. Cooke led the couple into Gallery 1 for a brief private reception attended by the HAA trustees and a number of other distinguished guests. At 5:45, they and Consul-General SHIBUYA Minoru, together with SEN Soshi and IZUMI Soko and his wife, proceeded to the stage in the Central Court, for the official ceremony. Director Ellis, Chairman Cooke, and Grand Master Sen presented speeches, and then there was the untying of the maile leis, marking the official opening. Following this, a chanter intoning a traditional Hawaiian chant led those on the stage, including the imperial couple, to the elevator, to go up and view the exhibition. After some minutes, the other attendees were then allowed in. Throughout the evening, the attendees were also able to socialize and enjoy the food and beverages provided by the Academy in the Kinau Courtyard and Mediterranean Courtyard.

SEN Soshitsu XV addresses the audience Maile lei ceremony. From left: HAA    
Director Ellis, HAA Chairman Cooke,
SEN Soshitsu XV, Prince Takamado,
Princess Hisako, SEN Soshi, IZUMI  
Soko, Consul-General Shibuya           

The imperial couple receive a guided tour of the exhibits, led by
the Grand Master