Wife of PM Kishida Visits Urasenke New York Branch

On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Mrs. Yūko KISHIDA, wife of Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio KISHIDA (Advisor to the Urasenke Tankōkai Central Chūgoku Region, its League of Hiroshima Chapters, and its Hiroshima Chapter I), and Mrs. Kaoru ISHIKANE, wife of Ambassador Kimihiro ISHIKANE, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, were received at the Urasenke New York Branch (Urasenke Chanoyu Center) and treated with hospitality by Konnichian gyōtei Sōkei SUZUKI (Chief Tea Instructor at the Urasenke New York Branch, and Executive Tea Instruction Manager for the Urasenke Tankōkai Federation’s North America Head Office).

Mrs. Kishida was in New York with Prime Minister Kishida, who was attending the 77th United Nations General Assembly, and the Urasenke New York Branch was selected as one of the sites she would inspect during her stay. Mrs. Kishida has been practicing chanoyu as a member of Urasenke Tankōkai Hiroshima Chapter 1 for many years, and when U.S. President Joseph BIDEN visited Japan in May 2022, she set up a chanoyu venue and personally prepared tea for him as a welcoming gesture.

The two V.I.P. guests, Mrs. Kishida and Mrs. Ishikane, were shown into the Shōun’an tea room at the Urasenke New York Branch quarters, where Gyōtei Suzuki prepared tea for them using a “kakufuku” tray designed by Iemoto Zabōsai for making and serving individual bowls of matcha, Afterwards, Mrs. Kishida and Mrs. Ishikane exchanged pleasantries with the Americans who practice chanoyu at the Urasenke New York Branch quarters and were there to assist on this occasion. They all had smiles on their faces as they talked about such things as the wagashi sweets that had been served, which were ‘homemade’ by the Branch’s students. The two V.I.P. guests left the Branch having enjoyed a spot of Japanese traditional culture overseas in a friendly atmosphere from start to finish.