Urasenke Professional College of Chado 2014 Fall Semester Begins

After an extremely hot and then wet and windy summer vacation period in Kyoto this year, the 2014 fall semester at the Urasenke Professional College of Chado (Urasenke Gakuen) began amid comfortable weather conditions. The opening ceremony took place on September 8, and was attended by Principal SEN Soshitsu (Urasenke Iemoto), Vice Principal SEN Masako (wife of Urasenke Iemoto), Deputy Head Teacher SEKINE Hideji, and members of the Konnichian corps of deputy tea masters (gyoteibu). The students continuing their respective three-year or one-year courses included the four Midorikai one-year course students who had begun from the 2014 Spring Semester (Mary Lynn HOWARD, USA; Henriikka AHTIAINEN, Finland; Tatiana DANILOVA, Russia; Blair WHITAKER, USA). There were twelve students newly beginning a six-month, three-month, or Midorikai one-year course at this time.

In his speech to the students, Principal SEN Soshitsu addressed the new students saying, "You will be in an environment quite different from that of your life up to now. I want you to apply yourself to your training not forgetting how you feel right now and keeping up your spirit, and when your will power slackens, I want you to square yourself up." Vice Principal SEN Masako said, "The second semester is filled with many events and is a long semester. Approach it with goals which you set for yourself, and greatly enjoy each day." Three students representing the new students then read aloud pledges to the Principal and Vice-Principal, and this concluded the ceremony.

The new students next visited the Rikyu Altar Hall within the historical Konnichian compound, to report to the ancestral spirit that they had begun their training in the Urasenke Gakuen at Urasenke Headquarters. In the tea rooms at the Gakuen school building, they were then served sweets and usucha tea by tea practicum class teachers at the school, to welcome them to their new lives as Gakuen students.

The newly entering students for the 2014 Fall Semester were
Six-month Research Course: YOSHIDA Eiko (Fukuoka Prefecture), ISHIMOTO Chikage (USA), HIRAKAWA Kumiko (Hong Kong), ICHISHIMA Genshin (Chiba Prefecture)
Three-month Research Course: KUROSE Reiko (Chiba Prefecture), MORI Sumiko (Fukushima Prefecture), AOYAMA Ryoko (Aichi Prefecture), YAMAMURA Hiroko (USA)
Non-Japanese Training Course (Midorikai): CHANG Hsueh Ping (Taiwan), Kazutaka OSUMI (USA), Aino PARTONEN (Finland), Marta LANGIEWICZ (Poland)