Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV in Singapore

From December 5-9, 2001, Grand Master SEN Soshitsu XV, Ph.D., made a trip to Singapore to commemorate the initiation, in November 2001, of a credit class on chado at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The new class -- a general studies elective entitled "Japanese Culture Through Chado" -- is the first credit class on chado at a national university in Singapore. It is taught by WATAMIZU Soyu Nobuko, who holds a high credential from Urasenke and is the executive manager of the Urasenke Tankokai Singapore Association.
   Dr. Sen arrived in Singapore in the evening of December 5, and the following morning he gave a special lecture and chanoyu demonstration at NTU. Before it began, he met with NTU Deputy President ER Meng Hwa, and presented a donation of money and books and audio materials to the university, towards the further development of Japanese cultural studies at NTU.
   The lecture and demonstration, sponsored by the Urasenke Tankokai Singapore Association and jointly organized by the NTU College of Engineering, was entitled "The Heart of Tea, The Heart of Japan." More than 130 students and faculty attended, listening attentively to Dr. Sen's talk about the key concepts of the Japanese Way of Tea. He explained that a bowl of tea embodies Nature, and when we drink the tea, we realize that we too are a part of Nature. He also stressed that chado has no national boundaries, as its ideals are equally relevant for all people.

Dr. Sen presents special lecture at NTU

   After the program, Dr. Er hosted a luncheon party for Dr. Sen and other specially invited guests and NTU officials. The following evening, Dr. Sen hosted a dinner party at the Hotel New Otani, at which the guests of honor included Dr. Er and other NTU officials, and Japanese Ambassador MAKITA Kunihiko.
   On December 8, Dr. Sen gave a public chado presentation at the Oriental Hotel. It was sponsored by the Urasenke Tankokai Singapore Association and supported by the local Japanese Association, Japan Chamber of Commerce, and Japanese Embassy. In one of the front row audience seats was Former Singapore President Wee Kim WEE, who once served as Singaporean Ambassador to Japan. About 500 people attended this presentation.

Public chado presentation by Dr. Sen at Oriental Hotel          Dr. Sen with Former Singapore President Wee
         Kim WEE