Urasenke Tankokai Sydney Association
Celebrates 30th Anniversary

On Saturday, September 13, 2003, a beautiful spring day in Sydney, approximately 150 friends and relatives of the members of the Urasenke Tankokai Sydney Association gathered at the home of the association's founding president, Rosaleen McVITTIE, for a tea gathering (chakai) by the members to celebrate the association's 30th anniversary. In the evening, the association's president, Masaaki HAYASHI, and Mrs. McVittie co-hosted a celebratory dinner there, which was attended by one hundred invited guests. Participating in both of these events were Chief Consul MANABE Hiroshi of the Japanese Consulate-General in Sydney, together with his wife.
    The McVittie estate, located in Epping in the suburbs of Sydney, is the original home of the Urasenke Sydney Chapter (renamed Urasenke Tankokai Sydney Association when, in 2002, Urasenke Headquarters incorporated all official overseas Urasenke chapters and study groups into the Tankokai organization). On the grounds, there are two tea houses: one of four-and-a-half mats, and the other of six mats. The McVitties spent seven years building these, and SEN Soshitsu XV, who was the Urasenke iemoto then, provided their names: "Shofuan" and "Bashoan."
    Guests at the 30th anniversary tea gathering could visit both tea houses for tea, and could also have tea prepared for them at a ryurei tea table that was arranged in the garden. A number of the tea implements and other such articles used at the three tea venues, including the ryurei table and a kaigu set, were created by Australian craftspeople. Some made use of Australian materials. The two scrolls hanging in the tea houses were calligraphic works by SEN Soshitsu XV (who has now adopted the name Genshitsu in place of Soshitsu XV).
    The dinner party was in the form of a friendly barbecue out in the garden. Later, the guests moved indoors, and Mrs. McVittie shared with them the warm letter that the former iemoto had sent to her on the occasion of this significant 30th anniversary celebration.

Scene at the ryurei tea venue in the garden.

Scene in the six-mat Bashoan, where the tea-making made use of the sunken hearth (ro) and a suspended kettle.
Scene in the 4.5-mat Shofuan, where the tea-making made use of a portable brazier (furo) arranged side by side with the water jar on a nagaita board.