Daisosho Genshitsu SEN Visits Sydney

News & Announcements

During the second week of June, 2023, Daisosho Genshitsu SEN was in Sydney, Australia, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai (hereafter, Tankokai) Sydney Association, the 49th anniversary of the Urasenke Brisbane Liaison Office, and the 30th anniversary of the Tankokai Melbourne Association.

Welcoming Banquet
The evening of June 8, there was a Welcoming Banquet for him at the historic Royal Automobile Club of Australia, in the heart of Sydney’s Circular Quay. The approximately 130 attendees included Ambassador Kazuhiro SUZUKI of the Embassy of Japan in Australia, Consul-General Shuichi TOKUDA of the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney, Consul-General Junji SHIMADA of the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne, Director Assessment Tim SMITH of the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment’s Heritage and Historic Sites section, Mayor Bill WEST of the Cowra Shire Council, and Mme Marie-José MICHEL, former Honorary Consul of Japan in New Caledonia, who is President of the Tankokai New Caledonia Association. President Yoshiaki MATSUNAGA of the Tankokai Sydney Association gave an opening address, which was followed by an address from Daisosho. Then Ambassador Suzuki raised a toast, and there was music by a string trio, celebrating Daisosho’s centennial. Also, there was an impressive slide show of scenes through the past fifty years of Chado Urasenke in Oceania, which engendered warm reminiscing and chatting among the attendees.

Tankokai Sydney President Matsunaga
Ambassador Suzuki raises a toast

Wago no Chakai & Commemoration Ceremony

Australian National Maritime Museum

A “Wago” or “Harmonization” matcha tea offering and matcha tea drinking ceremony, in prayer for World Peace and the furtherment of Japan and Australia’s friendship, took place from 9:30 A.M. the following day, June 9, at The Theatre of the Australian National Maritime Museum. Approximately 170 special guests, Tankokai Sydney Association members, and members of other regional Tankokai associations filled the audience seats to share in it. As the tea-drinking participants, the following six took seats on the stage: Ambassador Kazuhiro Suzuki, Mayor Bill West, Consul-General Shuichi Tokuda, Tankokai New Caledonia President Marie-José Michel, Consul-General Junji Shimada, and Tankokai Sydney President Yoshiaki Matsunaga.

When the Wago no Chakai was over, Daisosho gave an explanation about the meaning behind this chakai, about the implements that were used, and about other elements of the chakai. This enabled both the participants and viewers to gain a deeper grasp of its significance.
Next on the program was the ceremony to commemorate the Tankokai Sydney Association’s 50th Anniversary, the Urasenke Brisbane Liaison Office’s 49th Anniversary, and the Tankokai Melbourne Association’s 30th Anniversary. To lead it off, Tankokai Sydney Association President Yoshiaki Matsunaga, representing the hosting side for these events, gave a few introductory words. Daisosho also gave a few words, followed by a congratulatory speech by Sydney Consul-General Shuichi Tokuda. 

Sydney Consul-General Tokuda

An important part of this ceremony was the presentation of recognitions and awards to individuals who have contributed significantly to the development of their respective Urasenke groups. Daisosho presented a Letter of Appreciation to Tankokai Sydney President Yoshiaki Matsunaga, and Certificates of Meritorious Service to Chief of Administration Ryoko Freeman of the Tankokai Sydney Association, Former Chief of Administration Yuko Jensen of the Tankokai Melbourne Association, and Margaret Price of the Brisbane Liaison Office. He also presented chado implements to the Tankokai Sydney and Melbourne associations and Brisbane liaison office, to commemorate their respective anniversaries. In addition, he gave special recognition to Tankokai New Caledonia President Marie-José Michel, whose Tankokai association also falls within the Oceania region and came all the way from New Caledonia for this occasion.

Yoshiaki Matsunaga
Ryoko Freeman
Yuko Jensen
Margaret Price
Marie-José Michel

Chado Demonstration & Commemorative Lecture by Daisosho Genshitsu Sen
The afternoon events at The Theatre began with a chanoyu demonstration. For it, Gyotei Sokan TODA provided the explanations, the role of host was played by Gyotei Sogo NAKANO, that of host’s assistant was played by Gyotei Soko KURAKAZU, and the guest roles were played by selected representatives of the Tankokai Sydney and Melbourne associations and Brisbane liaison office.

Following the chanoyu demonstration, Daisosho delivered an engaging lecture, in which he talked about some of his key ideas concerning the peaceful coexistence of human beings. “A matcha bowl represents the round globe upon which we live. The matcha in it is green, which represents nature. But our planet Earth’s nature is becoming lost due to war, invasion, and human development. Remember our beautiful planet Earth, our homeland, from a bowl of matcha tea. To master the Way of Tea is to master yourself. If everyone were to be humble and offer each other green tea, engaging in conflicts would go away.”

It was apparent from the attentiveness of the audience, and from the many questions that Daisosho received during the Q & A period, that the people who were assembled there, including members of the general public, held high interest in the Way of Tea.

After Daisosho’s lecture, there were two areas for drinking a bowl of matcha in the adjacent Annex of the Australian National Maritime Museum: one was hosted by the Tankokai Sydney Association, and the other, jointly by the Tankokai Melbourne Association and Brisbane Liaison Office. At both, the sweets that were served were handmade by the hosting groups, and the ensemble of implements used featured local craft objects. It could be seen that the hosting groups put their hearts into the preparations and the actual serving of the tea.

The area hosted by the Tankokai Sydney Association

The area jointly hosted by the Tankokai Melbourne Association and Brisbane Liaison Office