100th Summer Intensive Seminar at Urasenke Head House

The Summer Intensive Seminar (kaki koshukai) is a chado training program with an impressive history at the Urasenke Head House, having been originated by the 13th iemoto, Ennosai, in Meiji 44 (1911). Over the five days of August 25-29, 2014, the 100th Summer Intensive Seminar took place, with seventy-two attendees participating, including five from outside Japan.
      The first day began with an opening ceremony from 9:00 A.M. In attendance from the Head House were Iemoto SEN Soshitsu, Daisosho SEN Genshitsu, SEN Takafumi, SEN Makiko, IZUMI Koichiro, and the Konnichian deputy tea masters (gyotei) who would be teaching the seminar with Iemoto. Iemoto addressed the participants, saying that the summer intensive seminars had continued owing to the dedication of the past leaders. He urged the participants to firmly direct their minds forward and actively learn from this seminar. Daisosho expressed his pleasure that the summer intensive seminar, having passed through various historical phases, was taking place for the 100th time, and said, "I want those of you on the teaching side as well as those of you on the learning side to be as a single entity as you experience the rigors of this path, and to make sure to reflect on what you have learned and, each in your respective place, to do much to nurture your successors."
      In the late afternoon of the first day, after the students had practiced the basic temae, there was a lecture by Iemoto. He spoke about the importance of the charcoal-laying procedure (sumidemae), and also about the enjoyment that can be gotten from tea-implement combinations.

Early-morning zazen.Special lecture by Raku Kichizaemon.

The second day began with early-morning zazen. The students then divided into small classes for konarai and then shikaden practice. In the late afternoon, there was a special talk by the 15th generation head of the Raku family line of potters who have created Raku ware for the Sen families since the time of Sen Rikyu, RAKU Kichizaemon XV.
      The third and fourth days were devoted to shikaden and then gyo-no-gyodaisu practice, and finally, on the last day, the focus was on reviewing what had been learned. To end the seminar, there was a closing ceremony, at which two participants represented them all in receiving their completion certificate and Gakko Chado teacher qualification certificate directly from Iemoto. At the very end, another representative read aloud a thank-you statement to Iemoto, in which she described the highlights of the five strenuous but fulfilling days of study at the Urasenke Head House.