SEN Genshitsu Makes Trip to Vietnam and Has Interview with
President Tran Duc LUANG

Dr. SEN (Soshitsu XV) Genshitsu was in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from September 12-18, 2003, in conjunction with the Hoi An Festival and Symposium on Cultural Heritage organized by the People's Committee of Quang Nam Province and Showa Women's University (Tokyo) in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan. This trip to Vietnam was the second time for Dr. Sen to visit the country, the first having been in 1963, just before the onset of the Vietnam War.
   Hoi An, the city where the festival and symposium took place, is located in the province of Quang Nam in central Vietnam, and is not far from Danang. It was a major port along the Indochinese Peninsula for the Vermilion Seal Ship Trade initiated by TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi in the 1590s. During the four decades of that trading activity, which ended when the Tokugawa regime of Japan ordered Japan's national seclusion, quite a large Japanese community was established in this city. Japanese architectural structures from this period are extant to this day, and evidence of the trade is seen in Japan in the form of the Annan (Vietnamese) craft items that found favor with chanoyu enthusiasts.

   Dr. Sen delivered a commemorative lecture for the symposium held on September 14 in the Hoi An City Hall. In his lecture, he traced the history of Japan's chado from its beginnings in China, described how its philosophical ideals have influenced Japanese culture, and said that the best way to understand Japan's culture is to learn about chado.

At the Hoi An Symposium on September 14, 2003.

   September 16, Dr. Sen, together with Japanese Ambassador HATTORI Norio and Mrs. Hattori, had an interview with President Tran Duc LUANG at the capitol in Hanoi. They were received by both the President and his wife, Mrs. Nguyen Thi VINH. Dr. Sen, sitting at the ryurei table that his aides had arranged in the reception hall, made a bowl of tea each for the presidential couple, and talked with them about the Annan ceramics imported to Japan in the past, and of the importance today of promoting even more cultural exchange between Japan and Vietnam.

SEN (Soshitsu XV) Genshitsu makes tea for President Tran Duc LUANG
and Mrs. Nguyen Thi VINH.

SEN (Soshitsu XV) Genshitsu pays his respects at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
And Memorial Monument for the War Dead.

   September 17, in the morning Dr. Sen went to pay his respects and offer wreaths at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Memorial Monument for the War Dead. Then, in the afternoon, he conducted a chanoyu presentation for invited guests at the Japanese Embassy. The scroll that he hung in the alcove of the tea room at the embassy was one that he specially brushed for the occasion. The words had the meaning, "Peace Lives in a Bowl of Tea." The guests included Vice-chairman Truong Quang DUOC of the National Assembly, together with his wife; Minister Pham Quang NGHI of the Ministry of Culture and Information, together with his wife; and a number of foreign ambassadors.

SEN (Soshitsu XV) Genshitsu conducts a chanoyu presentation
at the Japanese Embassy.