2021 Annual Rikyu Memorial at Konnichian

News & Announcements

Urasenke heirloom portrait of Sen Rikyu hangs in the tokonoma of the Chofu-no-ma
(collaborative work, image by Hasegawa Tohaku, calligraphy by Shun’oku Soen)

The annual Rikyu Memorial held each year on the 28th of March is among the three major memorial observances held at Konnichian. For the observance this year, thorough measures were in place to guard against the ongoing COVID epidemic, and 180 Urasenke followers were able to be in attendance.
For the chato-no-gi tea preparation ceremony in the “Chofu-no-ma” room of the Heisei Chashitsu, the “ryurei” tea preparation style employing tables and chairs had been installed. The attendees who would participate in this were seated by 8:50 A.M. In the first four seats were Gyotei ISHIKAWA Sojin, who was due to be elevated to the title of Meiyo Kyoju; SHIMAMURA Hirofumi (Assistant Councilor, Tankokai Federation; Vice President, Tankokai Osaka Nishi Chapter); KAMIYAMA Masatada (Special Councilor, Tankokai Federation; Vice President, Aichi II Chapter); and the movie director NAKAJIMA Sadao. After Daisosho SEN Genshitsu entered and presented a few opening words, Iemoto SEN Soshitsu sat at the tenchaban tea-making table and prepared the special tea to be offered to Rikyu. Then, as Daisosho intoned the Buddhist Shiguseigan (Four Great Vows), Wakasosho SEN Soshi conveyed the tea to the offering table in the tokonoma, and all those present placed their palms together in prayer.

Iemoto then prepared separate bowls of koicha for the representative attendees, using a “Kakufuku Marubon” round tray on which the bowls had been readied. Wakasosho carried the tray to the representative attendees down the line, and each of them in turn took their serving of koicha from it.

The chato-no-gi ceremony ended when they had finished drinking the koicha. The room was then rearranged for the Meiyo Shihan title presentation ceremony, at which 8 Urasenke chado teachers who have dedicated themselves to chado and mentored many students over a great many years were awarded this esteemed title.

Following this, the Shichijishiki group chanoyu exercises were offered by selected Gyotei and members of the Shikukai, Sunday practice & Sumirekai, and Shuchikukai chado groups which regularly come for study at Konnichian. The various Kagetsu exercises which they conducted would normally involve the rotated used of just one tea bowl, but, as a COVID preventive measure, the bowl was exchanged for a freshly cleansed one each time another bowl of tea was to be prepared.

Sumitsuki Kagetsu-no-shiki (Gyoteibu)
Kinin Kiyotsugu Kagetsu-no-shiki (Shikukai)
Hirakagetsu-no-shiki (Sunday Practice & Sumirekai)
Nagekomi Kagetsu-no-shiki (Shuchikukai)

In the Kangetsu-no-ma room on the second floor of the Heisei Chashitsu, the implements which were specially chosen for this occasion were on display.

The main room for the attendees to be served usucha was on the second floor of the Chado Kaikan, across the street from the Heisei Chashitsu, where Iemoto’s wife, SEN Masako, together with IZUMI Hiromi and other ladies of the Urasenke family were the hosts. Gyoteibu members hosted the auxiliary usucha venue, which was in the Urasenke Gakuen school building.

After the memorial, a private ceremony was held in the Rikyu Altar Hall, for four distinguished Urasenke gyotei to receive the title of Meiyo Kyoju. They were Gyotei ISHIKAWA Sojin, Gyotei TODA Soan (a representative was there on his behalf), Gyotei KURAKAZU Sokaku, and Gyotei GOTO Sokoku.

Commemorative photo in the Totsutotsusai after the ceremony.
L to R: Ishikawa Sojin, Daisosho, Kurakazu Sokaku, Iemoto, Goto Sokoku, Wakasosho